by John Grey
She has a black cat,
its eyes the color of rubies,
its paws as silent as the death,
but a purr as subtle, as mysterious,
as the dead rising.
And a blackbird of course,
that could be crow,
could be raven,
could be something in feathered guise
as it roosts up in the eaves,
occasionally alights on her shoulder,
cackles in her ear.
She’s young and beautiful at times,
a wrinkled crone at others.
She loves to drift through graveyards
late at night, scattering the owls,
rousing the cadavers from
their worm-riddled beds.
Some claim to have seen her
waltzing with a ghoul,
others bent and white-haired,
soaring on an eagle’s skeletal wings.
Folks keep their distance,
go nowhere near her ramshackle house
at the end of a lane of withered trees.
They say one look upon her face
and a woman is struck immediately infertile,
and a man seduced by her beauty
will end up in the crippled arms of her
hideous true self.
Some say she is three hundred years old.
With her bent back, leather features,
stumbling down the road with her shopping bags,
she doesn’t look a day over death.
John Grey is
an Australian poet, U.S. resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry
Salzburg Review, and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves on Pages
and Memory Outside the Head, are available through Amazon. Work
upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.
Ann Marie Rhiel is the
Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in
Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her
passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern
New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography.
Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.