A long time ago, when I was in college, I read this book called “The Plucker.” It is written and illustrated by Brom, and it’s a story about a toy jack-in-the-box coming to life and having to defend his Boy from an evil spirit that eats children’s souls. It’s a very dark story, but I highly recommend it. Brom has a few other books out, one involving zombies, and another novel–a retelling of Peter Pan called “The Child Thief,” and several more. I’ve only read the one. I need to read more. “The Plucker” inspired a poem. It’s not one of my better ones, but I thought I’d share it anyway.
“I sewed the petrified heart of a copperhead pit viper into your breast. A copperhead ain’t gonna let nobody tread on it, cause it’s down and mean, down and mean as they come.” –Mabelle, “The Plucker”
There is no title for this one.
Give me broken thoughts–
fragments of a trusting soul to stitch together like a misused rag doll.
Sew inside me the heart of a rattlesnake
ornery and cold
Because it will take all my womanly wiles to survive
without unraveling at the seams.
Make me a Maneater
so when Lovers lie I can strike–
Leaving unfaithful, useless
bleeding on the floor.
I am the Killer Lady
throwing words like battle axes,
Clearing the way of half-gods
laying out a golden path for kings
Know a brave heart when they see one
appreciate deadly charm
Know to cherish the snake and the doll,
poor Raggedy Anne,
Because someone made her
“down and mean.”