Sonnet for Maleficent, the Horned Sorceress

J. Bailey Hutchinson

I was just learning being girl’s a curse, a surefire

contract between me & a billion dumb furies,

when you green-plumed into the sky & came back

monstrous. You, shucked out the womb with that

devil-brow. You, whose name means a kind of wicked

men can’t muster. Yes, you opened under blade but you

did it dripping sicklight & fume. Fringed & huge. Small

as I was I decided: I want to die like that. While my mother

said gentle, sleep, I’d hunker in sunfried grass, gather

greenglass and stone. Jam branches behind my ears, big

as my neck could bear. To every shape that thought me

fellable, I’d hum Now shall you deal with me,

O Prince, breath hot as a girl can muster.

& —   I swear —     I heard smoke.


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