Soul eaters and rattlesnakes

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–

lightning-in-a-bottle quick

Leaving unfaithful, useless

Love

bleeding on the floor.

I am the Killer Lady

throwing words like battle axes,

Half-moon fangs

Clearing the way of half-gods

laying out a golden path for kings

Know a brave heart when they see one

appreciate deadly charm

wild abandon

Know to cherish the snake and the doll,

poor Raggedy Anne,

Because someone made her

down and mean.”

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