Monday, 29 June 2020


by Katherine West

There were footprints
All the way down the mountain
Starting at the abandoned mine
But leaving the old road
To follow deer paths
Through avenues
Of juniper and pine

They seemed the right size
So I placed my foot in one
Like Cinderella’s slipper
To see if it would fit
To see what I would find
If I followed it

Even the space between steps
Was so well-measured
I nearly danced
Through the forest
A kind of Inca Trail
Step onto it
And the way
Becomes easy

As if I wore magic
Red shoes
That guided me
That pulled me
Drew me on
And through
A silk thread
Through the eye
Of its needle
Needle through cloth
Thin as gauze

On and on
As bluebirds
Eating moths
The sun following
Their sudden
As if in love
I flew

Something old
Something new
I arrived
At the red cabin
Dusty footprints
Across the floor
To a table
By a window
A chair

No bears
No dwarves
No witches
Just a house
Like a glove
A mind
Like a glove
Dropped on the floor
By the back door

A drop of blood
On the step
A dry well
A grave
Without a name
A Siamese cat
A bit of trash

And those bluebirds
Like sisters
Turned to swans
Waiting for me
To tell their story

* * * * *

Katherine West lives in Southwest New Mexico, near the Gila Wilderness, where she writes poetry about the soul-importance of wilderness and performs it with her musician husband, Yaakov. She has written three collections of poetry: The Bone TrainScimitar Dreams, and Riddle, as well as one novel, Lion Tamer. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as LalitambaBombay Gin, and New Verse News, which recently nominated her poem And Then the Sky for a Pushcart Prize.

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