You are old and your children are gone and you want to feel love one more time Baba has you now in her sure hands Your heart she treats especially tenderly She picks the herbs in the waxing moon and on the first day of a dry barren sign She prepares them when the moon is full hangs them from the pantry rafters
She stores them in a chest with many drawers With rue and balm Baba Yaga will cure you
Your womb is a hollow gourd
Seeds rattle against the walls Baba grinds pigments from marigold petals and lichen from beetles and clay She paints the shell with the sign for the eye the gate, the tree and the new moon and hangs it on a high branch
so it can see far so it can speak and bring rain
Your bones are a lighted lamp
Baba Yaga cleans your bones with an old bottle brush and silver polish When she is done they gleam like the old moon's candlesticks They are sleek and musical like cobbles on the beach. They smell of Baba's memory of the sea and the moss she beds them in on the attic floor
You have ink-stained fingers; your bones will burn blue.