A forest and a witch’s cottage. The fruit trees froth
but no bees come forward. What a forthcoming harvest:
an apple tree with only one apple, incandescent,
to feed the starving. Our one hope and it might be
poisoned. All the giants have told us so, and yet we
press forward. The path worms further into the shadows,
the trees creep closer. How will we escape when we don’t
know the answers to the three riddles?

Start with something small. A filament, a thread
writhing inside a glass jar, as if we might be able to stir
potential into potency by a wave of a hand.

Lucky, if you’re like me and too old
to have grown up on unicorns turned into cuddly,
plush creatures available on drugstore
shelves. In reality, mythic beings are skittish and
dangerous. Oh, you Sleeping Beauties, you Cinderellas and
Little Mermaids, I know your hidden bowers. I, too, spent
summer days under their weeping branches.

Be sure you have something more substantial than crumbs
to mark your trail. Never trust the wicked woman
whose jealousy makes a mockery of her gifts. When asked
to spin straw into gold, remember how the story ends.

On the other side of the forest a small light does glow
but only in the dark can you see it.