Blooming Charm

by Laura Madeline Wiseman

abies balsamea

Enchanted den of sorceress trees
the dominion of rotting kitchen scrap

how many mornings have I emptied
my bucket of offerings at their feet,

how many months have I bent beneath
their toothed canopy of needles?

Among their entwined arms run wires of current
twisted as bindweed. Acidic

coven of everlasting green, cultivated
to offer shade and windbreak in this corner,

their spells coax snowdrops to bloom,
crocus to open throats to sun.

With every turn of the pitchfork
how well I’m learning this black magic

among these women who pray to lesser gods—
somewhere witch-hazel flames yellow

somewhere a mandrake seed unfurls
the first white tongue.


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