dredge by Kendra Griffin

dredge

it was the witches did it. newtless, even.
betwixt early thaw and late freeze
they conjured a blizzard,
roiled the conifers, boiled the maple pitch down to base
then spilled their cauldron across the backyard. a pond
swelled.
pine-needle stew bubbled from hollows as

All swallowed All.

rust, bud, bolt, root,
bramble, suckle, stamen, shoot,
cricket-ghosts, chicken wire,
spigot and piston,
grease and garden,
unskinned knees and unformed beginnings—

a mudpie.
burnt.
a crabapple.
wormed.

a rising incantation,
an unknown familiar,
a mottled, cumbered mass pressed against glass,
scrabbling at splintering ceilings. fingerless, even.
It should have stayed down.
It should have stayed down.

and Pappy’s warnings
muffled by flannel and grime-stiffened collars
don’t you kids try to walk on that ice