In honor of Halloween, I offer this poem. It was inspired by two of my favorite poems by Neil Gaiman and is my first attempt at composing a sestina. Each verse tells the story of a different witch or witches.
All I ever did was to give you a home.
You could have told me if you found it cold.
He said he loved you, so you let down your hair.
He had you then; your love game him his power.
I was your mother—in name if not in blood.
Tell me, little one…what was wrong with my love?
Some will say I am bereft of love
But I will be mistress in my own home.
They all will bow to my beauty and my power,
Despite your snowy skin and ebon hair.
They’ll say twas jealousy that turned my heart cold
And made me ask the Huntsman for your blood.
No other way I might regain His love.
My shivering was not from fear, but cold.
I feel the flames now; smell my burning hair.
I have faith that, in death, I will find my way home
To bow before His mercy and His power.
We toss into the cauldron eyes and blood,
A tongue, a toe, a lock of mottled hair.
The cauldron boils; the fire warms our home.
How many more must die to please your love?
Words give heat to the breath of deeds too cold.
The forest is completely in my power.
Even the Lion with his tales of hope and love
Is no match for the magic in my blood.
I ride my mighty sledge back to my home,
And feel the winter wind blow through my hair.
A little girl with a puppy and braided hair
Does not exactly make my blood run cold.
There were four of us, strong in magic and blood.
She robbed me of my sister. Of my love.
But that was chance; she has no real power.
She’s not a threat. Just a kid who wants to go home.
They think they know us; Think us vile and cold.
They run from us or cry out for our blood.
They hate us for our magic…for our power.