Today's poem is by Sara Henderson Hay

The Witch

It pleases me to give a man three wishes,
Then trick him into wasting every one.
To set the simpering goosegirl on the throne,
While the true princess weeps among the ashes.
I like to come unbidden to the christening,
Cackling a curse on the young princeling's head,
To slip a toad into the maiden's bed,
To conjure up the briers, the glass slope glistening.

And I am near, oh nearer than you've known.
You cannot shut me in a fairy book.
It was my step you heard, mine and my creatures',
Soft at your heel. And if you lean and look
Long in your mirror, you will see my features
Inextricably mingled with your own.

Copyright © 2003 Sara Henderson Hay All rights reserved
from The Poets' Grimm, edited by Jeanne Marie Beaumont & Claudia Carlson
Story Line Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission of the University of Arkansas Press. Copyright 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.

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