You’ll need time, of course
and lots of loving care.

You’ll need enough resolve not to
throw your hands up in the air.

You’ll need to let your hair down
and make a scary face.

And you’ll need loose clothes
because you’ll need to dance
all around the place.

Take a pinch of grit
and toss it in the pot.

Remember what you always were
and remember what you’re not.

Think of all the happy times,
that came before you knew
this person once so wonderful
who’s turned into a “who?”

Turn on the heat.

(We’re modern women, now, you know,
we use electric stoves. Sometimes we even
use an iron, to dry our ragged clothes.)

And now that you’ve gotten started,
throw all the memories in
of you and him and him and you
and everywhere you’ve been.

(The dreams, too, darling –
that you’ve been hiding up your sleeve
you must be fresh to start the fight
to begin to really leave.)

Spit in the pot
and add
a nice rosewater base
with just a little vinegar –
you can measure this by taste.

And when it’s boiling
good and well, and you’ve
bled just a drop, take it
to the wishing well
and throw it about the lot
Dribble it around the stones,
let not a drop inside
then let it steam a moment,
while your sweet time you bide.

Speak to the well.

“Who made me feel not good enough?
Who poked me full of holes?
Who made me waste all this time
believing I’m not whole?”

Look into the well. (Perhaps
you will find your answer; perhaps not.)
Make a face – the scariest you know
Don’t worry overmuch if the water
doesn’t match
what you wish it’d show.

Go home.

Take a bath, though make sure
to sing as the water drains
and all your grief should slip away
and leave you
almost sane

Spell should take 6 months
to a year
for complete efficacy, provided
you avoid completely
its inspiration.



Autumn, by Benjamin Thomas Kennington