, , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s poems come from Ava Leavell Haymon‘s award-winning, fairytale-inspired collection Why the House is Made of Gingerbread (LSU Press)

The Witch Has Told You a Story

You are food.
You are here for me
to eat. Fatten up,
and I will like you better.Your brother will be first,
you must wait your turn.
Feed him yourself, you willbk-jacket-Gingerbread-194x300
learn to do it. You will take him

eggs with yellow sauce, muffins
torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats
late in the morning, and always sweets
in a sticky parade from the kitchen.

His vigilance, an ice pick of hunger
pricking his insides, will melt
in the unctuous cream fillings.
He will forget. He will thank you

for it. His little finger stuck every day
through cracks in the bars
will grow sleek and round,
his hollow face swell…

Audio file of Haymon reading below (first link), followed by a discussion of the poem at NPR (second link)


Hear the full NPR interview below and a second podcast in which Haymon joins Julie Kane, the previous Louisiana Poet Laureate from 2011-2013, for The Poet and the Poem series* at the Library of Congress.


*Full catalog of available podcasts from the Library of Congress series here.