Baba Yaga

cuts carrots in her chicken-legged shack, the weight of the world no longer on her shoulders, peers out the window on a bright morning, the birds particularly precocious and loud, intrigued by seedlings, casts a spell on an old friend in Praha, a lady who reared a log for a son (and had it coming), remembers her first love, a solemn woodsman, a poet of sorts, though he never realized the power of words, ponders how age and wisdom are not mutually exclusive, wisdom is for the birds, knowledge consumed by animals, and shat out, stands and watches a young girl approach the flock of sparrows, a girl of only 10, no more than that, a tasty morsel, from the village of disbelievers, yearns as the girl brings her hands together (in prayer? in supplication?), cuts into her own finger rather than the carrot, just to see blood, to remember what it is to be young again.

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Jonathan Cardew’s stories appear in cream city review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Passages North, CRAFT, and others. Originally from the UK, he lives in Milwaukee, WI.