My mother painted this before I was born, and for many years it hung in my bedroom, giving me nightmares. To exorcise my demons, I wrote a poem in which I imagined my mother painting the scary image while pregnant. The poem is a hyperbolic flight of imagination, and terribly unfair to my mother. She was not an evil witch! But in writing this, I also imagined myself as the frustrated bitter artist… which makes ME the evil witch.
The poem “Old Woman with Goose“ was a finalist for the 2016 Pablo Neruda Prize at Nimrod International Journal. A revised version will appear in my collection, Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2018).