The moat is there,
though no bridge lowers.
No maiden waits in darkened tower
with streaming hair, a golden river.
The witch is there,
Old Briar Nose with matted hair,
strands of steel-wool wire.
Bereft of formulas, potions, powders;
left with spells ineffectual,
outmoded magic, diluted powers;
with gnarled fingers knottted
into frozen hinges.
The witch is there, in stony tower
waiting (eye pressed
to the smoky glass)
inventing a tale wherein
Prince Rescues Arthritic Witch
with a touch,
that infamous restorative kiss.
Sylvia Ashby‘s background is in theatre, acting and writing; she’s published 15 plays for family audiences, with thousands of productions. Last spring, after seeing her short memoir in Anderbo.com, she was prompted to send out poetry. Now she has a few dozen pieces out or coming out in various lit mags–Abyss & Apex, Mezzo Cammin, Glass, etc.