tales told by crones catch us

mandrake

tales told by crones catch us
in thorns of awe full disbelief
and tangle us in rawness at
beguiling edges of credulity

as when they tell us Mandragora
screams its loosening from earth…
kills the first to hear its  shriek and
carries in its brew a potent sleep
like death enough to bury Cleopatra
in deep hallucinating dreams…unclasp
her wanting until Anthony’s return

as when Circe warned Odysseus
to place bee’s wax warmed… still
honey sweet against the eardrums
of his loyal oarsmen…lash himself
with ropes fast to the mast, so as
crazed with lust…not to dash
their bodies into wine-dark sea
toward distant Sirens singing
prophesies

as when we scoff at fortune tellers,
psychics, casters charting horoscopes
and refrain from seeing meaning in
crows angling through the sky….and
just at midnight…in darkness outside
our bedroom window… owl hoots
that we muffle with our pillows

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Unknown Artist

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