A Fairy Tale rarer than Middlemist’s Red blooms—
a Conjurer & a Fae, soaked in sorrow,
a Forest holding a Garden
filled with stories & magic
where memories unweave
unravel & (sometimes)
trap us in lies.
Call Me Magic: Call Me (Whimsy)
This is what I know:
my name is Whimsy & magic is real—
a fine glitter hovering in the air.
It doesn’t matter that most can’t see the energy (the ashe)
like a woven spell stringing through & connecting all things.
It doesn’t matter that some don’t believe in magic, they still inhale it.
They are still part of the plucked heart-thrum of life.
the non-magical look & look & don’t see.
Still, there are things that cross magic lines.
Sadness can seep into anything, even trees
especially the weeds—perhaps (even)
This is something true:
ever since I was three feet tall
I’ve had the same uniform—
a pair of Converse shoes, black with little white skulls kissing the tops,
a pair of black jeans worn at the knees from kneeling in the weeds.
A black T-shirt never tucked in, always lazily hanging,
a tiny necklace with quartz at the center that Grandma gave me.
I wear black sunshades that hold back unspun licorice curls
& leather gloves on full moon days
to hide my glowing palms.
Last, always dirt & my Fairy Tale
notebook in tow.
This is something difficult:
I am here (again) in the hospital,
& my uniform changes—
no jewelry (they took my quartz necklace).
White shirt (they confiscated my black one).
White pants (my black ones had too many pockets).
White shoes (that show too much dirt).
Gloveless, bookless, dirt-less & moonless.
Feeling less, less, less.
This is the thing,
sometimes it gets bad, roots mingle with a strange soil
& you don’t trust your hands with your skin.
Sometimes that means you are admitted to a hospital.
To be watched & watched & watched & watched.
To talk & talk & talk & talk—
to sometimes break.
It’s like Grandma said to me when I sat, legs crossed
like cherry stems, at the edge of the Forest where toothy fog
had already begun to seep into the soil—
Hoodoo is real, witches & Fae people too.
Fairy Tales are real,
magic is real, but, careful, Whimsy,
sometimes your own mind will unroot you.
This is what I think:
I am (Whimsy): I am magic just like my name.
But I am not whimsical (anymore).
THE WHIMSY GIRL
A child loved by the supernatural
& glittering with magic. In Hoodoo,
ashe is the magic in all things.
Outside My Hospital Window
It’s cloudy (inside me) & outside the window
with bars & netting that basically yell,
Don’t even try escaping.
It all started with a 3-day hospital stay
then Mom & Dad (Jill & Jack) moved me
to a private facility for extra care
for 2 more weeks—14 days.
Day 1: busy schedule from 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Day 2: same thing with an evaluation & new meds.
Days 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7: same schedule, less hazy
on the (inside) & outside.
Here’s the thing,
my hands have not handled
the earth in 7 days, which is a different
kind of sadness.
It’s 6 a.m. & I wake from the usual nightmare
that even sleeping pills don’t dull—
the one where I try to play the goddess
& make dead things more alive. The one where
a shadow crams dirt down my throat & twigs replace
my hands & some Ursula has taken my voice,
so none of my spells stick to the air right.
I look down, my palms glow amber-golden
on account of the full moon. It’s strange to still glow—
days after perhaps, maybe, wanting to die.
Car (Silver) Like a Broadsword
In the distance an engine purrs
& my feet hit the ice-cold hospital floor
thinking Mom & Dad might be here early, for their visit.
Beyond the window with steel netting
a large gray owl & a smaller white one
sit perched on a slim tree limb—
looking wiser than even the stories claim.
I worry the branch might break with their weight
but then again, I worry about breaking a lot.
The parking lot is dim & I watch
the horizon gently run golden
fingers through the darkness.
It looks difficult, the night (departing) & day (arriving)—
I imagine them begging
to hover together in this moment (forever & Fairy-Tale-ever),
never wanting to fall out of touch.
The engine revs closer.
I spot a silver car, the same hue
as a broadsword, backing into a parking spot.
The door swings open & a boy with mint-green hair
like just-birthed forest moss
steps out (one long leg at a time).
The deep V-neck of his shirt reveals
the bloom of a flower tattoo
I watch the sunrise rush forward
like it wants to touch him,
like it wants to hug him
& perhaps, maybe, love him.
I watch the owls on the thin tree limb
cock their heads, left then right,
when sunlight reaches them,
they spread their wings
& take flight, looking for night.
Copyright © 2023 by Amber McBride