When You Are a Witch

Lisa Lynn


It is perfectly natural to have deer bones

on the cellar shelves next to the canned tomatoes

and apricots.


You remember that morning before spring when the winds and the waters

have washed away the detritus of last year’s leaves

allowing the rounds of bones to surface in their whiteness.


And there are the bones themselves you dug up silently and with awe

that morning in the deep gully when the white cat

accompanied you more than a mile’s walk,

wending in her circuitous cat way

with no adherence to linearity or paths,

more a winding of wiles and will

and moreover that ineffable cat mystery

that evaporated habit and led you

to those bones,


the bones you carried back clasped to your heart,

as though they were the relics

of your ancestors,

which perhaps they are.


And yes, it is also primordially ordinary

to steep foraged medicinals —










in cider vinegar from new moon

to second full moon

for minerals easily available in deep winter

suspended as they are and amenable to absorption.


It’s also quite fine to ponder and shudder

when a healing decoction doesn’t work

and to chalk it up to the larger inexplicable Alchemy

as the reason for ongoing pain in the shankles

or the slight flop in the top of your hat

that will not stand up for any iron.


And for the record,

let’s say you follow all these impulses

and their primitive machinations

please know

that it’s still really okay

to fall in love in the usual way

and to have your heart broken quite conventionally

and to seem as though you just want an ordinary life.


Go to the cellar.

Pet the bones.

Bring up some apricots.




Lisa L. Lynn, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice and writes in the interstices as a necessary existential connection to the Muse in the midst of contemporary darkness.