I missed yesterday, but I’m back today. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt involved using the names of heirloom seeds, and thinking about plants quickly brought to mind Rapunzel and other such stories about witches and gardens.
Good Mother Stallard wasn’t good or my mother
but she left me the garden, touched her fingers to mine
and showed me how to coax each living thing to bloom:
the envy-bean, the wonder-berry, the love-
lies-bleeding. She told me where I once grew,
between the white-soul and speckled-swan.
And she taught me how to plant you, my child, how to hold
the seed of you under my tongue without swallowing,
the words to say, how to part the dark soil on a moonless night
and tuck you in beneath tall spires of red-cathedral.
Long after she was gone, I watched for you to reach through the ground,
I parted the leaves and found out your heart, I took you up
in dirt-streaked hands. You are an heirloom, my love, you are
my birthright and this garden is your kingdom. I will feed you slips
of ice-queen to guard your heart, slices of hollow-crown
to make you strong, and I will sit back on my heels and watch you grow.