ISSN 1545-2859




               MEG SMITH

Papa Witch

Hilary takes a summer house, summer job,
summer man, with a white beard
a Santa Claus in July, in sandals and hippie beads.
The refrigerator door is
checkered with model shoots of girls,
smiling in blue jeans.
This is the only time I see them smile,
these summer witchlets, their hair bound up in
braided wraps, the kind the cops want banned,
along with navel-piercing and roller blades.
So far, no cop has complained about belly dancing.
Lucky for me, I guess. I show them how and
to my surprise, the sad-eyed girls smile
and beg to learn.
This sparks a sermon from Papa Witch.
"I want them to learn.
The dance is language."
They queue up to hug Papa Witch good night.
They put their arms around Hilary,
and pass through the gauze curtains
passing for doors.
In the morning, Hilary works at the cafe
where Papa Witch does tarot readings
for this sad-eyed girl and that.
Like the one who dresses folks in flapper dresses for
sepia-toned old-time photos.
Hilary sits on her lunch break with her man
and pokes at his long, white hair.
Hilary's hair, once all blonde,
shimmers with the colors of the sea's moods,
with green, blue and purple.
At night, the girls return
to the summer house to unbind their hair
and drop to the floor like their clothes,
to dream of dancing into the sea.
I'm passed the years of pouting
and I have passed through many
gauze curtains and doors and walls
on my way to the sea.
The sea rolls like an ancient cat but not for these; only
for those who clench their teeth
and never get old.

Copyright © 2004 Meg Smith. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Top of Page