I am Baba Yaga, a hag, a toothless blend of wrong and right.
I fear only the knights known as Morning Evening and Night.

I live in a hut on chicken legs – its oven flames ignite
as it turns to face your approach in the night.

I fly with death in my mortar and pestle,
ingesting freshly released souls in the night.

It suits you to frighten your children
with tales that I will devour them in the night.

But I prefer the carrion of souls of the evil,
Digesting those who spray bullets in the night.

It pleases me to judge, it’s all the same to me,
religious zealots brew into a lovely tea at night.

The comfy souls who prize politics over the life of a child.
I store their souls close by. I poke at them in the night,

just to hear them moan –“my God” “my country,”
my listening pleasure for the night.

Approach then, you dare to think I have an answer
for killing, raping, or maiming the innocent in the night.

Pitiful little pilgrim, I am bacteria, slime mold, coffin worms.
I gather moral roadkill. All look the same to me in the night.

There is plenty to go around,
more than I can handle any given night.

I am Baba Yaga, I am cursed, a blur of wrong and right.
Fear me, I will judge you, cursed knights of

                                               Morning Evening and Night.


[Author’s note: Baba Yaga is a Russian folk tale of a witch that is both good and evil and devours those who cross her path. She lives in a turning hut on chicken legs and flies around in a mortar, steered by a pestle.]

Selected byRaymond Huffman
Image credit:Carolround

Susan is new to poetry. Poetry is both a means for sense of the world and a way to harken back to fond memories of writing extensively in school. She and her partner, Morgan Driscoll, are in the process of publishing a collection of poems about writing poetry.  It is  irreverently titled Up Your Ars Poetica. Due out in Fall 2023.