Bio Note: Having just retired, I'd love to say that freedom is incredible (well, actually, it still is) but it's during the pandemic and while I'm anxious and afraid for this troubled republic. A native New Yorker, I'm the author of Ghost Light, a quarantine journal in verse, Eurydice Sings, and The Bone-Joiner. My speculative poetry has garnered second and third place Dwarf Stars, as well as nominations for the Elgin, Rhysling, Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net awards. My work appears in Spillways, Trouvaille Review, Setu, Alien Buddha Press, Newtown Literary, Red Eft Review, and elsewhere.
A witch accosted me on the street of the neo-pagan hippie town of pink and purple bead and candle shops reminiscent of New Hope in the sixties. She grabbed my hand and told me, “You have suffered greatly. But all will be well.” I was shaken to have been so chosen, seen so accurately, until she asked for money. Up at the abbey, my friend and I took pictures of a bright sky framed by ruined arches and marveled at Guinevere’s grave. Everyone exited the gift shop at once, posing on the steps to view Prince Charles, his skin a youthful pink, suit well pressed. He smiled up at us and asked, “How’s trade today?” before moving on. We took the bus up the mountain to the Tor. I’d wanted to make this trip for so long but I’d come too late. I was too broken now to climb steep stone steps without a handrail. How long I’d waited to meet Arthur, Nimue, Merlin. Too late. While my companion ascended, I sat in the meadow among green apple trees. The wind stirred the grass. Small white butterflies dipped low. Bees hummed. A border collie danced in the orchard. But I longed to climb. Too late. Then I remembered that this orchard was once a lake, the hill behind me Avalon, that this New Yorker had a chance to sit in peace in a summer-sweet meadow, that I had indeed encountered a prince and a witch. Surely, surely all would be well.
©2020 Sandi Leibowitz
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