NaPoWriMo Day 13 – Five times five – A witch’s tale
Our optional prompt for the day takes its cue from Prelutsky’s poem, as well as this poem by Dean Young, called “Belief in Magic.” Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something mysterious and spooky! Your poem could be about something that is mysterious and spooky in a bad way (like a witch), or mysterious and spooky in a good way (possibly also like a witch? It depends on the witch, I guess!) Or just the everyday, mysterious, spooky quality of being alive.
I never thought I’d write a poem or a story on witches but thanks to NaPoWriMo, I just did. And strangely, it came faster to me than the poems I have written over the last few days. Makes me believe, I have some ‘witch’ in me. 🙂
She wakes up at the stroke of twelve
as she’s been wont to doing since she was ten.
Sitting upright on her bed, she rids her hair of the
band and runs her fingers through each strand.
She picks the crystal ball from under the bed
and spreads the cards – face down, one by one,
lit by a single moon-beam as they are meant to be.
The cards talk on nights such as these, she must wait.
Deep translucent oceans in her eyes, she gazes at the sky and
then over the cards and the crystal ball. Raising her hands,
she whispers a chant, in a language she hasn’t learnt-
first low, then higher; her voice reaching a crescendo. The oceans in
her eyes now hold a fire, her cheeks flushed, the cards before her
begin to move. Slowly at first, the very slightest movement.
The chanting gathers pace; the sweet sixteen ‘next-door’ girl
gone and in her place sits a ‘witch.’
Long, wild tresses, a look in the eye, way beyond her years.
She picks the five cards that move- war, violence, fear,
plea for help; the fifth she places it back. Into the ball, she blows;
it comes to life. A little child in Gaza alone, family killed by a shrapnel-
she says a soft prayer; the police are on the way to help; an alcoholic
beats his wife black and blue – his hands frozen in mid-air; a girl slightly
older is being chased – a mighty wind blows and they’ve lost her; a man
suffering from disease pleads for mercy – his pain is eased.
Now for the fifth- the last wish of the night.
Her palms wet, ‘this one’s for her.’ So many in distress, she wished she
could do more. But five is what’s been allowed. She makes a wish,
the same wish she’s made over the last ten years. ‘May five more be
blessed today by the power vested in me. And may each be granted five
wishes to fulfill on nights as these.’ A breeze blows, her eyes deep oceans,
she clasps her hair with the band, the cards and the crystal ball returned
under the bed.
Pulling the sheets, she closes her eyes.
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