|"Swoon" Ink on Paper|
By J. Artemus Gordon
Charles A. Swanson
III. Dark Disposition
They came again, the little girl, auburn
tresses dancing like sunlit butterflies,
the dark-eyed boy. The fairy-elf watched them,
first dim against the cave mouth’s morning,
then merging with shadows in the grotto.
As Claudius so hungrily hoped, the boy spied
the polka-dotted mushrooms, but he turned away,
not tempted. He continued the words
he was already darting at her. Why was he
speaking crossly? Why was she smiling?
Eat some of the mushrooms, you rude brat,
Claudius willed. His fairy power held both
check and scope—he could not force
the boy, nor lay a hand upon him. Breathe
he could do, and he sent out that breath,
magic like pollen, magic that suggested,
magic that tempted, magic that made
the wartiest toad into a precious gemstone.
Take me up, the mushrooms crooned. No
treacle is half so sweet. The fairy willed:
Eat them. Become so baleful she’ll turn
with loathing from your dark, deep eyes.
Editor’s Note: Readers should plan to return to Songs of Eretz Poetry Review next Friday, October 26, for the fourth and final installment of The Fairy’s Cave, “The Bad Boy Effect.”