After the Baby’s Mother Is Locked Behind Bars

Avra Margariti

via Unstamatic

The mayor’s wife reads an article in the local newspaper about children raised by an entire village. The words bleed ink and guilt, an instant hit with the entire Sunday congregation.

The baker abandons the baby on his workstation each morning. She rolls in flour; a malnourished loaf.

“I should melt you in my crucible for what your mama did,” laments the blacksmith into evening. Playing with scrap metals, the baby only coos.

Nights belong to the witch. She weaves lullabies, protection spells of moonlight-in-a-bottle, escape plans on diminutive broomsticks.

The witch knows the village is merciful, until it isn’t.

Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Rhysling-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Vastarien, Asimov’s, Liminality, Arsenika, The Future Fire, Space and Time, Eye to the Telescope, and Glittership. “The Saint of Witches”, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is available from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).

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