by Joseph Stanton

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.