THE HOUSE ON CHICKEN LEGS
Bound by the mortar and pestle,
tricked and trapped into
a role that she never chose.
Even her shadow hurt.
She left, following strange hungers,
wandered off the path to find
bone fences, talking dolls,
a house that stands on chicken legs,
a witch with iron teeth and knees that reached the ceiling.
The dawn passed through the woods on horseback,
a veil of mist, a shroud of mourning.
She grew feral and strange,
in all the cracks and curves of her body,
a fist full of firebird feathers, burning,
a wild womanhood.
The day came more quickly then,
the sun shone red as it rode across the sky.
Nothing simple, everything tender. The sunlight
fought away the darkening clouds,
the storm roared out a warning.
Tempestuous girl, she became the witch.
And when she laid her towel down, it became a river.
And when she left her comb behind, a forest grew where it fell.
Dusk marched slowly past,
the black of night trailed stars behind.
Catherine Garbinsky is a writer, a witch, and a worrier living in Northern California. She holds a degree in The Poetics of Transformation: Creative Writing, Religion, and Social Justice from the University of Redlands. Catherine’s chapbook of Ursula Le Guin erasures, All Spells Are Strong Here, is part of the Ghost City Press 2018 Summer Series. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in L’éphémére Review, Rose Quartz Journal, Venefica Magazine, Cauldron Anthology, and others.