When Babushka Was Young

When Baba Yaga was young, she had cornsilk hair
razors for teeth, and arms pale as walrus tusks.

When Baba Yaga danced, the ferns caught on fire
and the mountains wept rivers to veil her glory.

Where Baba Yaga walked, Ivan da Maryas bloomed
the forest awakened and wolves kept her rhythm.

What Baba Yaga wants, she plucks from the Zoryas
she took witchcraft from the depths, pestle salt.

When Baba Yaga cooks, she simmers greens to reds
brews baby bone stew – it ages her just right.

When Baba Yaga sings, zhar ptica flies far away,
and Kashchei’s princesses bend like roaring wind.

What Baba Yaga is, is the taiga and god hollows
Babushka sees all, knows all, takes all she wants.


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