This forest heavy with dark humor
frames direst need into a candied home,
whispering lies of taffied architecture,
a sweetmeat trap for the lost or abandoned.
An oven is a place to warm the heart
for hags who favor giblets with their meals.
This witch loves to devour every part.
She likes to see to all the small details.
She smiles to show she has no grudge, no gripe.
Her hunger is the only thing she feels.
No malice makes her want to take your life.
Your bones she'll toss upon the apple peels.
About the Author: Joseph Stanton has published poetry in a wide variety of journals and anthologies including Poetry, Poetry East, New York Quarterly, Ekphrasis, and Harvard Review. His work has been collected in Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, What the Kite Thinks, and Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball. His scholarly work has appeared in such journals as American Art, Art Criticism, Journal of American Culture, and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Scarecrow Press has just published his new study, The Important Books: Children's Picture Books as Art and Literature. Stanton teaches art history and American studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Copyright © 2005 by Joseph Stanton. The poem may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.