Haven Spec current issue


To market, to market

By Anna Quercia-Thomas in Issue Thirteen, January 2024

do not forget to drag your feet, my darling,
for the road is long and the trees cannot protect you here
and though their hands may urge you forward
look behind,
into the whites of their eyes and the grit in their beards
remember, seasons like winter were made to be suffered
and it is hard to recognize the curl of spring through a darkening sky

changeling child, once-darling-one, remember
that though you may not know your way through shadow,
it has felt your toes in its leaf-covered carpet,
the shuffle of tiny feet in its mires, and it may allow you back
because of this

they made their deals a year ago
you think, though time is strange and dry out on the road,
they nodded solemnly, divided spoils amongst themselves like
they might not eat again for weeks, but

you were trained for this, my darling,
you were gentle tendrils on the wind and peaking eyes through riverbeds
you were swampland grass that rattled untrained steps without a warning
you were handed over,
little bodies, little hands and bowstring fingers

you were walking before you even learned their names

do not forget to drag your feet. remember
when you became the mud around a cool brown river,
sink back into the ground and blunt your heels on stone,
raise your small voice to the moon, gnash your pointed teeth, and pray
you never reach the market.

© Anna Quercia-Thomas

Anna Quercia-Thomas

Anna Quercia-Thomas is a queer Hispanic American writer and academic currently based in Western Australia. She writes poetry and speculative fiction about found family, queer romance, and connection in dark times. Her work is featured in New Words Press, SWAMP Journal, and in the upcoming issue of Overland.

Poetry by Anna Quercia-Thomas
  • To market, to market