I keep myself to myself to the house
to the garden where my panic-planted herbs now spring up green

I test their magic twixt forefinger and thumb releasing the leaves’ spell to the morning breeze

I cast my words stream of conscious to the herb-misted air for there is no one close enough to hear

everyone stays away these days only my loyal black cat remains to follow me across the grass

her yellow eyes do not doubt my sanity or judge my too-long hair for being streaked with isolation-gray

I talk to her direct-address my voice is out-of-practice from the quiet times and it is raspy, harsh

the neighbours eye me from a distance and I wonder what they whisper as they point my way

they think – I know – this curse has transformed me into crone withered by distance drunken on alone 

Nicki Blake / @strawberrythief is an emerging poet and writer of short fiction from Perth, Western Australia. She has been published online and in print. Nicki will neither confirm nor deny that her creativity is strongly influenced by red wine.

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