Love Poem For Lupus
By Molly Spencer
There’s always a house alone in the wood,
three oaks to mark the place, a hazel hedge.
The roof is a slanted pledge.
I’ve worn the pelt of the forest shade.
I’ve worn my little hood
of red. The path is aching with thaw.
When I find the house alone in the wood,
I’m always a tender young thing.
Grandmother’s dead six years.
There is sorrow.
Birds in winter plume.
Salt for the deer to nose.
There are children
with voices bright as coins.
The tall, bent steps. The wolf
raised the latch and the door swung wide
open years ago now. There may be a fire
with hands for flames. There may be a witch,
an oven stoked. Surely a bed turned down
for me. A rug at the hearth
where the wolf sleeps. The tick-tick-tick of his heart.
I know how to dread him—
dread like a trip-wire, dread like thirst.
I’ve ungloved my hands,
eaten the cakes, drunk the wine.
The huntsman is otherwise occupied.
Here is the only place. I wake
every day in this story, call in the children, open wide
this breakable body, this hard-won room, this house
of luck and bone that made us.