Ascension

No stars existed
not one pinhole of light
in the black
expanse of time and
space, a galaxy removed
from planets and people
feelings and truth
an unlikely cocoon
where a latent image
appeared, flimsy and
unfocused,
a haze on the
negative I dared to
hold up to the light

I reached for the
magnifying glass,
hoping to define it
and words spilled out-
breaking the silent
void of my womb
letters floating and
now captured
with each click of
my pen to paper
the image clear,
defined,
my own reflection
with wings

I flew up
and out.

 

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Hollow

once uponĀ a time

i watched and waited,
impatiently, as grandmother sewed
her nimble fingers stitching the
last now one, two, three
stitches, and then she
draped it,
finished, lovingly around
my shoulders, kissed me
on the cheek, and pulled
up the hood

“when you are in the woods,
grandaughter, always wear the hood up.”

my name is Katharine. not red.
nor riding hood.

i skipped into
the heart of the forest
that day
obeying grandmother,
wearing the red she chose
instead of the green
i really wanted
distracted by picking
delicate white
flowers
amongst the brown leaves
and dirt of the forest
floor standing, sniffing their
aroma, pushing the hood
back only for a
moment.

from behindĀ 
a familiar voice

“where are you going little girl?”

the big bad wolf drooled
licked his lips
gave direction
i listened, observed
his teeth, so white
so sharp
anxious to devour
my innocence
yet charming, sly
patient, proceeding
to grandmother
swallowing her first
the appetizer before
the main meal

me

i discovered
the small axe
the woodsman left
at the base of the tree,
my favorite one
where I sat
my back supported by its
strength
the handle smooth
I hid it
under my cloak
gripping it
tightly
as I walked
through
grandmother’s
door

“the better to see you with my dear…”

i
descended,
disappeared
into the
hollow
of
the
wolf’s
belly

my movement, restricted
my voice, silenced
by the gurgling
of the juices from
his thick stomach,
but then I remembered
the tool and
slowly, it took years
chop, chop, chop
i created space
and eventually
broke through,
escaped, emerged
born again

i killed the wolf

and grandmother followed me to freedom

The scars from his bite have become a deeply carved cavern, an empty bowl capable of collecting rain water.

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