Greed ate compassion
out of the heart of the man.
His words reeked of rot—
gold only keeps teeth from death
if decay doesn’t rule the mouth.

“You can poke her for $15.” The man grinned, waving his bloodied stick.

“I’ll give you $300 for the stick… and some alone time.” The witch’s eyes remained on the cage, watching the creature that was woman and spider and Nature gone wild.

“Have your fill, miss. But no killing.” He handed me the stick. “Dead meat’s nothing.”

My will broke the cage,
but the storming was all hers.
She reclaimed her Self—
freedom is never a gift
one can get from another.

the wee notes…
– To read other installments, visit my Web Serials page. The tales are listed under Belle du Freak.
– The essence of this bit of tanka-prose first burst out of my muse’s skull in 2012. I rewrote it as a short story and kept it to myself because it didn’t feel right. Then, the other day, while discussing tanka-prose with Rommy, I realized that I was unhappy with the piece because it was never meant to be a poem or a story, but both.
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

a wee bit *that has nothing to do with this poem*…
– Haven’t joined October’s Heart-Bits with Magaly? Follow the link. Write with me.
– And, as always, my Luvs: Be wild. Be deliciously wicked. Be you.

59 thoughts on “Reclaimed

  1. The hardest thing in freeing a prisoner is not opening the bars but to make the prisoner leave through the open gate…. Glad that she found the courage to walk out.

  2. This is the best of your work that I’ve seen.

    I cracked up over this:

    “I’ll give you $300 for the stick… and some alone time.”

    I love this line:

    “My will broke the cage”

  3. Potent..beautiful… courageous…gorgeous writing…and so profound.. “freedom is never a gift one can get from another.”( powerful) Freeing oneself is an indescribable feeling/ experience. This was a riveting read!!
    Have a magical day enchantress!

  4. More darkness with a flicker of light, Magaly, which thrills to the bone. There is a touch of Grimm in the cage. Such gruesomenessy in the lines:
    ‘gold only keeps teeth from death
    if decay doesn’t rule the mouth’
    ‘“Have your fill, miss. But no killing.” He handed me the stick. “Dead meat’s nothing.”’
    How true:
    ‘freedom is never a gift
    one can get from another’.

  5. How can such a short piece evoke so many such strong emotions in a single space of time and screen? I’m glad your poetry proves over and over that we don’t have the emotional range of a teaspoon 😀 lovelovelove this – especially the last few lines <3

  6. The first two lines gave me chills. As did the last two.

    As a whole, this is truly brilliant work, and to have your strongest lines bookending the whole piece is quite impressive.

  7. Your words made it so easy to visualize the scene Magaly. The form you created also works well but it is a pity the man with the bloddied stick didn’t get his retribution.

  8. I went back and (re) read(and re-commented) on the original–this brings some more contemporary angst to the table–in fact, when I read the handwritten part on FB the other day, I was pretty sure I was hearing about a certain, er, person. But this ties it all up with a bloody red bow and puts bells on it. The growth of the writer shows mostly in your end lines–I think the original was pretty sound and muse-given stuff.

    • After I reread the original, I was surprised by the same thought. I wrote the man with the stick as the archetypal greedy bastard, and then we get the same thing as a president 5 years later. Shocking, disgusting, and scary.

      Thanks for your comment about “the growth of the writer”. It’s one of the reasons why I never delete anything, it’s nice to go back and reread, to see how things have evolved (most times for the better). 🙂

    • Thank you, Rosemary. It should probably be prose-tanka-prose, huh? 😀 I’m planning on having lots of fun with this. In the future, I might go the other way around, and sandwich the prose between two tanka.

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