When the hour for departure drew near the old mother went to her bedroom, and taking a small knife she cut her fingers till they bled; then she held a white rag under them, and letting three drops of blood fall into it, she gave it to her daughter, and said: “Dear child, take great care of this rag: it may be of use to you on the journey.”
-- The Goose Girl, from the Brothers Grimm
Leave me for a husband,
flesh-doll. I picture
you waiting by
a new window. But take
me with you
against your breast,
You'll still see me --
leaning down to drink.
I am duck bones
boiled in milk
the scent of roast meat
on the wind
the sound of knives
Dear Mother: Today your blood floated down the river.
A pity; the handkerchief was soft.
Still en route to castle. Weather fine and warm.
Straight ahead. Philosophy texts in my saddlebags
may disagree, but I say it's the best way: with blinders,
to my left could be anything. Apple trees. Sorcerers. Home.
Sun up, walk. Sun high, walk. Sun down. Kneel down.
Nothing changes, but everything might. I could find myself
on a bluff. I could kick loose stones. I could lose this load.
But carrying's just carrying. We stop. I listen. We start;
someone runs off behind me, moccasins, scuffing. A bride
gone? It doesn't matter, not to me. Who could tell from shifting weight: