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Ava Leavell Haymon.
“The Witch Has Told You a Story.”

© Ava Leavell Haymon.
Used by permission.
All rights reserved.

You are food.

You are here for me

to eat. Fatten up,

and I will like you better.

Your brother will be first,

you must wait your turn.

Feed him yourself, you will

learn to do it. You will take him

eggs with yellow sauce, muffins

torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats

late in the morning, and always sweets

in a sticky parade from the kitchen.

His vigilance, an ice pick of hunger

pricking his insides, will melt

in the unctuous cream fillings.

He will forget. He will thank you

for it. His little finger stuck every day

through cracks in the bars

will grow sleek and round,

his hollow face swell

like the moon. He will stop dreaming

about fear in the woods without food.

He will lean toward the maw

of the oven as it opens

every afternoon, sighing

better and better smells.

Text prepared by:


Haymon, Ava Leavell. “The Witch Has Told You a Story.” Poetry Magazine September 2013: 219-20. Web. 14 Feb. 2015. <http:// www. poetryfoundation. org/ poetry magazine/ poem/ 246334>. © Ava Leavell Haymon. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

NOTE: This poem originally appeared in “Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy,” by Lemony Snicket.

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