All the little witches in my office,
Who would have burnt you up,
Soaked you like a cherry in liquor,
The larded green scum of the pond
Skimming your confit?
I hope it wouldn’t have been your mother.
She’s sitting beside you, reminding us both
She carried you once, she ate you
Into being. They had to cut you apart;
You’re a girl, not a doll, there’s always a mark.
Not the devil’s print, not the scratches
Of a familiar. You used a razor, scissors,
The teeth of a spare key, hidden under a flower-pot.
Why are there so many mouths, biting,
Holding pills like the bottle they just left,
Your pink tongue the cap a child can’t open?
Little witch, you would have tried to shelter
Inside a tree’s bole, to shove the dryad out.
You would have sucked the ends of reeds
To put the visions in a place they could be heard.
It would have been a neighbor who denounced you,
A jealousy unnecessary. You wanted to share,
To hold her hand, to drag yourself back.
Daisy Bassen is a practicing psychiatrist and poet. She graduated from Princeton University and completed her medical training at University of Rochester and Brown. She has been published in Oberon, The Delmarva Review, Tuck Magazine and several other journals. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.