By Reena Ribalow
Some spells turn a prince into a frog,
some tame wild girl to wife,
conjure mother out of woman,
tranced by cooking, tending, laundry.
Swaying from their pegs the colored clothes
are dazzling as the wings of
Sun scents the air with opiate of soap;
captivity subdues the blood like sleep,
with cleanly, sweet,
The kitchen table is set
with the artifacts of enchantment:
a jug of flowers upon a blue-checked cloth,
white mugs, a fresh-baked cake.
She herself prepared the potion,
the recipe her mother's song,
sung before memory.
A cup of flour, two eggs,
a handful of the magic
that fetters sense and soul:
that gilds the room the gold
of an imagined sun:
that heats her veins
like the tea which steams
with the smoke of dreams.
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