The Two Witches  Laura Kolb



london rises like smoke
from a chestnut cart
pushed by a granny in thick boots
she wraps a handful
in a newspaper cone
she smiles when i try to pay
i wander
i remember her:
her husband's to aleppo gone,
master of the tiger.

the newspaper smudges my hands like coal
for weeks i can't wash it out
i am not frantic, only sinking:
i know this story.
finally after many scrubbings i can just about make out what it says.