Wednesday, September 14, 2005



The Enchantress gives me a doll.
A doll…
After all these years.

The day I put my dolls away
High in my closet
I cried.
My step-daddy insisted
I didn’t have to put them away.
But I knew it was time
To put them
For good…

I examine this doll.
She is completely handmade,
Not plastic.
Even her eyes
Are made of something real
Like ebony.

She says her name is Nauscka.
She wears sweet little clothes
Like a child.
Blue sweater, skirt, socks,
Little Mary Jane shoes
With a button to hold them on.

I hold back,
Not wanting to believe.

I suddenly realize
All the travelers are gone.
Nauscka tells me to follow
The crow.

I am silent
And so is she.

My skirt has large pockets
And she fits inside
Where she hides.

She begins to bounce
Up and down.
I look around
Someone is coming.
I hide.
Dreadful hooded bandits
Pass on the dusty road.

How did she know?
She says nothing.

She only tells me where to turn
Soon we are at a dreadful house
Near a lake.

The gate of bones moan
When we approach.

I look down at Nauscka,
She nods

I timidly knock.
The door is flung open
Looking into the eyes of death himself.
But the ragged thing standing
Is somewhat womanly.
She spits her words at me,
“What do YOU want?”

“I need directions to the
Camp of the Amazons.”
My eyes wide with fear.
She sees my fear,
And smirks with satisfaction.
“Please come in, dear
And we will see what we can do.”

Inside is so dark,
I bump into stacks of things.
She sits down
lights her pipe,
And blows smoke in my face.
“I will tell you the way,
but you must do something for me
in return.”

I knew this was coming.

“Like, what?” I ask.
“Don’t be so smug,” she puffs.
“Me?” Oh, yeah, yes me…

I feel Nauscka press me
In warning.
I change my tone.
“What would you like me to do?”

She rolls her eyes around
And squints.
“I’ll think of it tomorrow,
Tonight you can stay out back.”

We stay in a tiny shed
And sleep on straw.
In the night
Nauscka bumps me
To notice things
In the dark.
I see Baba’s silhouette.
She blows at the clouds
They move quickly away.
Leaving the night clear
And full of stars.

The house rumbles to life.
Huge chicken legs appear
To lift the house
And walk away.
All I can do is gasp

Just before dawn
A burst of red light
Runs across the field.
The chicken house runs after it
And catches it.
A cackle echoes.

Nauscka whispers to me
“Pretend you are asleep”
And I do.

I can feel Baba peering at me.
She shakes me roughly.
“Girl, time for work.”
The sky is still dark.
I blink slowly and yawn.

She puts me in her kitchen
The house is a mess.
Piles of stuff in disarray.
And then I remember the chase,
Well, of course
everything inside fell over too.

But I don’t ask or comment.
And Nauscka gently pats me.

Baba leaves me to work
Nauscka amazingly
Does most of the work
She cleans, organizes, polishes.
Somehow in a very short time,
The task is done.

Baba Yaga comes in
Squints at me.
Looks around
Shakes her head.

“Huh,” she says
with her hands on her hips.
She gives me directions to the camp.

I am almost out the door.
Baba clears her throat.
I stop.
“Is there anything you would like
to ask me?”
I hesitate…
“What was the red light this morning?
“Ahh,” she says,
“it was dawn coming too early.
So I had to hold it back.”
She smiles her toothless smile
and nods.

“And you, girl, how did you
clean my house so quickly?”

Pressure from my pocket.

I smile,
“With kindness
And sweetness.”

“Bah,” She waves me away,
“Get out of here,
Be on your way!”

I start to run
Out the door.
As far away as I can.
When I am truly far away.
I take Nauscka out of my pocket.
I hug her and rock her.
And she hugs me back
With her little hands.

So long ago,
Putting my dolls away
broke my heart.
And now Nauscka
Looks up at me
As if she knows.


At 7:57 PM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Luna! Luna! What sheer brilliance! I absolutely adore this piece. You have captured the essence of Baba Yaga's house so perfectly. But please! Your escape will not be so easy. Baba's hands will bring you back for more work is to be done.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Luna said...

I am your humble and devoted servant. My life is to serve the Lady Enchatress... But what I really want is my own canoe. (wink, wink) :) I'm glad you liked my version of Baba Yaga's house. I am always surprised by what I write.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Luna, this is beautifully done! Sparse, in a way, but just-right details and some marvelous surprises. Nice wrap up at the end. You're cooking, girl!


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