Mary Kathryn Jablonski
Mary Kathryn Jablonski has been a contributor at Numero Cinq Magazine and is author of the poetry chapbook, To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met and the collection, Sugar Maker Moon, from Dos Madres Press (Loveland, Ohio, USA). Her poems and collaborative video -poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, exhibitions, screenings and film festivals including Atticus Review, Poetry Film Live (UK), Poetry Ireland Review (IRE), Quarterly West, Salmagundi, and Tupelo Quarterly among others.
Willing the Sugar House
Hansel, unluckiest gift of luck,
we were never children. You forge;
I lag, trailing thoughts like breadcrumbs,
dreaming of kitchens that beckon
like beacons, thinking of tinkling spoons
against dishes, conjuring witches
who croon over ovens. Gladly,
on all fours, I’m crawling toward
the warm red tomb. Even if it means
we both will be consumed, better
than this endless dither, doomed little man,
leading me in fretful circles.
Want to trust you blindly,
but as we weave this forest,
your blind calm can’t shake these shadows.
I have promised not to whine,
to hum, to lag behind. Still,
I cannot tell whose side you’re on.
Did you know the breadcrumbs would be gone?
I let distance step between us as we walk deeper.
Even if we clear these woods, there are things
we’ll leave in the thick dark.
Let loss bind us like blood, brother.
I’ll keep quiet. I’ll keep up, always the wiser.
Hansel, gift of luck, show me the way.
Woodsman, father, carving a future,
are you more secure now
that the burden of your children
has been axed, releasing you?
Is she satisfied at last
with us cut from her hair,
lost in the harrowing forest,
foraging for mother and another
family tree? Returning once,
we find ourselves
wandering again, bewildered
through these woods, questioning
brute woodsmen for a route.
From beside the witch’s oven
I glimpse Hansel out the kitchen window
caged. Wishing for the moment we ran
toward this sugar house; anything
seemed possible. The feathered thing
stirred, then leapt. Now
it beats against the glass. This,
our due, having fingered the frosting
for the memory of licking mother’s spoon.
The will to live
cools like an autumn day
as soon as sun has set.
Being lost has
come to feel familiar.
Night falls like snow.
© 2020 Mary Kathryn Jablonski