War Water*

Juleigh Howard-Hobson


Find a glass bottle or jar, it must be
Clear and it must have a cap or a lid.
Then, find as many iron things as you
Can—it doesn’t matter if they’re rusty
Locks or bent nails just so long as they fit
In the bottle or jar. You’re going to
Fill your container with water next, rain
Water is best, but any water will
Do. Close it up. Some women hold that it
Will take two weeks for war water to gain
It’s full strength, some say it won’t work until
Full moon light bathes it. Then it needs to sit
9 days, undisturbed. After that it can
Be used against anyone, ghost or man.



*Contrary to popular belief, war water is not rooted in Hoodoo but in European-influenced folk magic practices. Due to this, debates about which is the most ‘authentic’ recipe for war water are unproductive.” —The Traveling Witch


Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s poetry has appeared in Faerie Magazine, Illumen, Liquid Imagination, Star*Line, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), Mandragora (Scarlett Imprint), and many other places. A member of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, The Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling.