There is a forgotten path in the middle of a ravine,
where the hills rise upward and the creek runs downward,
and a little house lies in between.
The roots from the trees grow down to the house,
the stones from the creek roll toward it,
and summoning them all ever forward it seems,
lives a witch, there, though most don’t know it.
If you should enter this house,
and you would want to,
just as the roots, and stones, and the one-eyed fox do,
just as the owl, and the serpent, and the wolf-spider try to,
you would find yourself standing in a poem.
See, the conjurer chants the words of an old rhyming spell,
words you won’t understand,
which is probably just as well,
for you would be ever-changed if you could decipher them.
Imagine it, then, this small house with many rooms,
filled with old sacred books,
powder jars and twiggy birch brooms.
Where spiraling hazel wands, and green herbal potions,
are just waiting for the cunning woman to put them into motion.
There’s an old phone on the wall that’s hooked up to nothing,
but the spirits call often, so it’s connected to something.
She doesn’t speak into it with a voice of her own,
but with the croak of a toad and a coyote jawbone.
There are masks on the wall, and an obsidian ball,
that she uses at night for scrying.
A mortar and pestle sit high on a shelf,
next to charms, bells, and herb bundles drying.
If a curse or hex are what you need, she will certainly know it.
If it is bone-knowing you desire, she will be able to throw it.
If foretelling the future is what you seek,
she has the cards and will read it.
If healing powers are what you need,
she will have just the right weed for it.
If it’s cord or knot-work that you require,
she is the one who can bind it.
For, if it is magic that you are looking for,
it is in this house you will find it.
So, should you find yourself at the nighttime crossroads,
somewhere just beyond the thick growing hedgerows,
in the place where path, hills and creek meet,
there will soon be a spae-wife for you to greet,
just past rabbit den and nest of grouse,
you will knock upon the door of the old Witch House.
~Erin Gergen Halls