She rakes the fire
to maintain constant heat
beneath the iron cauldron.
By the scant, flickering light
offered by white enchanted candles,
she thrice stirs the boiling blend.

From her woven basket
she picks more ingredients,
chops them the proper way
and decisively adds pinches
to the bubbling liquid,
the colour of ochre dye.

‘Wax of wild bees,
heart of spring lamb,
hair of first born,
frog’s eye  but one’,
she can never help
giggling at that.

‘Cat’s claw and cinnamon,
echinacea and garlic,
calendula and clove’,
she hums to herself,
remembering the little tune
all her ancestors sang.

Remember, be careful,
her mother’s calm voice
echoes inside her head,
heed my advice, at all times
keep silent, never betray us,
never put letters to our craft.

Staring at the flickering flames
the source of her recurring nightmares,
she considers her peers,
their deplorable hypocrisy
hidden underneath the guise of
stubborn righteousness.

With a bitter smile
and anger in her heart,
she bends over the moaning man
writhing on the straw filled mattress
and carefully applies her salve
to the festering wound on his thigh.

Now all that is left for her to do
is wait and try to be patient
for her ancient concoction
will decide her imminent fate,
as it may heal a champion
or condemn her to be burnt at the stake.


© november child
Disclaimer: These are not instructions for an an actual potion, so please refrain from messing with bees, lambs, frogs and especially with the hair of your firstborn!
in response to: The Sunday Whirl Wordle #266
photo credit: Thomas Autumn via flickr