I come to you from a realm of incessant storms,
gowned in the shreds of an inadequate umbrella.
What happened to my hair? It kept getting snarled
into the filigree hilts of godmothers' wands, or stuck
in the icing on half-baked cottages, or wound
itself into nooses around already-netted fish. There
was nothing to do but to crop it all off. Loose, it promptly
smothered an acre of corn. When even the crows
can't wait to see you gone, it's time to shove
what's left of your life into a walking shroud
and cobble together what you can
from the pelts and bones of out-raced rabbits,
the better to greet whatever's next in store
with the treadlessness of a ghost, but even when
my fingertips graze only stone and tin,
my breath bruises fruit and my words ruin wells.
I've been told there are cures, but what I've heard
always ends with a witch in the fire
or the pond. I won't do that
to someone else's grandmother. And now
you have someone to blame for next week's blight
and next month's horror—I
am marching away even as you slam your door.