O Wicked, Wicked
You’ve seen the signs.
The two weird sisters.
The whisperer. The one who smiles.
The cosseted lips of snow pressed
to the greener one’s ear.
The confidences. The mystery.
The smile, that enigma of hundreds
of tiny muscles, the only flesh
beside the tongue
to pass between your teeth.
What is it about girlhood?
What is it about grace and goodness?
What is it that has been lost
beneath the dipped brim of the hat?
Wouldn’t you like to know? says the green one.
Would you like me to say more? asks the white one.
Behold, we shall tell you a mystery.
We are sisters of the fairer elements.
Our atoms a giddy dance of sugars
Leviathans, oh, perhaps.
The seedlings of wildfires, most assuredly.
You say gaiety is not in our longterm destiny
for we Cassandras rarely meet with
conclusions of cascading tickertape,
understanding nods, vindications,
and baskets of whiskered things.
Instead, we get farmhouse ex machina.
We get water from the Lake of Fire.
We get old.
But that is the price of knowing
the confidences of those older and
more far-seeing than ourselves.
We cannot help what we are,
nor would we if we could.
Certain knowledge is
a pretty mercury on the tongue,
a tickle in the ear
passed from sister to sister
beneath hat brims.
We are what we are,
and we are usually right.