insect-toothed crone trudges to the market
seven lives weighing on
her shoulders, her ox straining
under the weight of her cart of junk;
faintly glowing baubles and rotting scraps of cloth;
rats nesting in the rags.
she haggles at the stalls;
trades bronze coins for leg of lamb
takes stained glass for widow’s root
wanders off mumbling ‘fore the fishmonger
calls her back; “just for you, two-for-one.”
two dead-eyed trout.
she takes what is holy.
sun pinks and oranges over the horizon
the widowed fishmonger sleeps; sweet herbs.
front door creeps open; black cat purrs.
a babe lies in its crib: breathless.
a woman slips out, sucking dragonfly wings
fingers brushing broom handle.
for the pleasure of flight, she waits until nighttime;
insert broom handle and enter the skies
moondust over youthful flesh
the solitude sublime
no other lives but the bats and the flies –
About the Author: Madison McSweeney is a Canadian author interested in the macabre and fantastic. Her poems have appeared in Rhythm & Bones, P*ssy Magic, and Twin Peaks anthology These Poems Are Not What They Seem. She has published horror and fantasy stories American Gothic, Cabinet of Curiosities, and Zombie Punks F*ck Off.