The Wandering Witch

“‘Farewell Summer,’ thought Cecy. ‘I’ll be in every living thing in the world tonight.’”
From the Dust Returned, Ray Bradbury

Untethered from herself,
in her dreams she threads
through them:

A cricket, lacquer-black,
between the wet tongues
of marsh grass.

A dove in the sway
and quiver of night-wind.

Quick inhabitant,
she does not linger–

A fish glittering in the swollen river,
she dons scale and mouth-gape,
repeated gasping.

Praying mantis, she clasps
her hands unaccustomed
to asking.

A half-remembered
dust-spice of summer.

Every being has its absences.
The hollows and dips
she tucks in, fingers curled

to open latched
eyelids, nails tapping
the tongue-chime.

She plunges into clamor
kept private. The bark
behind a raised scruff,
and that one, unnecessary,
pleasured howl.

Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014). Her poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Indiana Review, Literary Mama, and storySouth. She lives in Georgia with her husband and daughters.