NaPoWriMo, Day 15: Her Dark Materials

Image by Kilian Schönberger

Prompt: “In her interview, Blake suggests writing a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil). Perhaps this could mean the witch from Hansel & Gretel has lost her beloved cat, and is going about the neighborhood sticking up heart-wrenching “Lost Cat” signs, but still finds human children delicious. Maybe Blackbeard the Pirate is lost at sea in an open boat, remembering how much he loved his grandmother (although he will still kill the first person dumb enough to scoop him from the waves).”


Her Dark Materials

When it’s over, I wash
prayers and curses out of my hair.
I stuff them into a pillow.
I sleep.
There are no dreams.
I’m not haunted by the lives I take.

When I was young
and the work of my hands still new,
I liked to watch them struggle.
Now, the worst of their pain
has lost its flavor.

It’s turned me to stone, this world.
Its greedy little creatures,
constantly eating. Words,
worms, one another.
I’ve lost the hope to live in a place
where I’m not needed.

Mine is a lonely existence, but one
I’m well-suited for.
I wouldn’t trade it for yours.
Time is on my side.

Each morning, I open the door
and Time rushes in
with all the unspent energy
of a puppy, tail wagging, tail
wreaking havoc.
I calm it down with kisses,
scratch behind the ears.
We go for a walk.

Up in the hills, is the forest.
Things die there, too. Time
covers them with moss.
Time covers me with moss.
I don’t mind getting dirty.
I like it.
I chase Time through the woods,
then Time chases me.
We rest by the river. We drink.
I talk and Time listens.

The trees smell good and I
smell good among the trees.
Like the earth that takes and takes
all my gifts, except me.
Like the wind that combs my hair
with light.
Like the light.

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