“Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.”
~ Erica Jong
Smoke, it is all smoke
in the throat of eternity.
For centuries, the air was full of witches
Whistling up chimneys
on their spiky brooms
cackling or singing more sweetly than Circe,
as they flew over rooftops
blessing & cursing their
We banished & burned them
making them smoke in the throat of god;
we declared ourselves
“The dark age of horrors is past,”
said my mother to me in 1952,
seven years after our people went up in smoke,
leaving a few teeth, a pile of bones.
The smoke curls and beckons.
It is blue & lavender
& green as the undersea world.
It will take us, too.
O let us not go sheepishly
clinging to our nakedness.
But let us go like witches sucked heavenward
by the Goddess’ powerful breath
& whistling, whistling, whistling
on our beautiful brooms.