Tea With Witches
by Kate Chadbourne
Poison or honey, without flinching drink what they hold out to you They hum and gasp at intervals hand round a platter of dew drops It's unwise to eat more than your share or less than would sustain you If you want to laugh, laugh Words are slippery as frog spawn, here If tears seize you, shed them into the open mouth of a vernal pool Your lace skirt is your own business No one expects you to bring flowers But show them the star in the toe of your stocking or the wind curled at the tail of your eye And you will earn the right of return, and all the moons you can swallow
In the woods behind her house, Kate Chadbourne drinks tea with witches and finds these encounters harrowing but necessary. She is a singer, storyteller, harper, and poet, performing all over New England and offering training and encouragement to other bards through her Bardic Academy. Once smitten with a poem, she cannot restrain herself from setting it to music.
The word "cherry" conjures up Pablo Neruda's "Every Day You Play" and its final line that weakens knees and sets hips a-quiver: "I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." Waiting right behind that is John Spillane's song, "The Dance of the Cherry Trees," which gives a generous voice to the cherry trees who encourage us to bloom, singing, "You know we've traveled all around the sun. You know it's taken us one whole year. Well done everyone, well done!"
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