He’s Mama’s boy, saved by her hand
pulling from fire the witches’ brand,
foretelling its ash would mean his death.
And so he grows, with easeful breath,
a noted hero in the land.
He loves a girl in a huntress’ band,
but she loves no one, takes a stand
that “He could never take a wife:
Cited for bravery, the girl is damned
by the mother’s brothers, who feel unmanned.
He kills his uncles with his knife.
News reaches home. Anger is rife.
Momhood be damned: the coals are fanned.
[Diane Kendig‘s latest book is Prison Terms (Main Street Rag, 2017). With Robert E. McDonough, she co-edited the tribute anthology In the Company of Russell Atkins (Red Giant Books, 2016). Kendig’s poems have appeared in J Journal, Wordgathering, Valparaiso Review, and other journals. Curator of the Cuyahoga County Public Library weblog, Read + Write, she is on the web at dianekendig.com]