In the hollow of the old muscular
Tree (an inverted V-shaped crack)
Lay the Feast of the Owl, arranged
According to sacred pagan ritual
The elders say there’s power in
Ritual, that it ‘holds the spirits‘
(Which makes me wonder what
Happens if the spirits aren’t “held”…
Do they run off, go wild—do
They eat children my age?)
I was raised to keep silent
I feel a heavy ache, looking in
That hollow, like the whole world’s
About to turn sideways on us…
My grandma comes up behind
Me, holding a lit candle… I take it
She removes her apron, covers me
With it like a blanket or cape
“You’re takin’ a chill, honey,” she says
“Don’t be scared—shall I sing you a song?
How ’bout ‘Amazing Grace’, you know
That one real well…” I nod.
©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.