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Green Spiral, NYC / Lara Payne

Fiddleheads, a green promise I buy at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, appearing like a dream of wholesome abundance into my lonely year. I imagine myself returned to my rural home. How I’d discover newly emerged plants, walking my witchy path. I would have a tiny curved knife secure in my belt, because I would be someone with a belt and a knife. The fiddlehead curling seductively, hearkens me into prehistory. Shimmer of dew and almost sticky green fur. My knife would have a short smooth amber wood handle that fit in my palm. My thumb would know the correct pressure to cut plant, never flesh. Press of steel into stem. However, I am no witch in the country: I am a lonely, untouched woman in a new city. Friendly farmers smile at my meager purchases, so clearly meant for one.


The L train seems swifter, this spring afternoon. Time for a new taste, the wheels sing as we pass under the river into Brooklyn. I do what the rosy cheeked woman told me, steam them lightly and add salt. Oh, how I wish I could say that I am transformed. She who sees the future, she who can hear the secrets of the bees. Oh, how I wish I could say they taste good. They don’t. My stomach aches for hours.


I am older now and my loneliness is of a different unspoken hue. I still don’t have that knife, but I can picture it, curved like the moon I saw last night glowing below Venus in a deep blue sky. That knife waits for me and all we might find together, be it in field, beneath tree, or fresh on a trucked in table in the center of the city.

Published in Moon Water,

an anthology by Spell Jar Press

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