When the hag invites you to tea, beware, because she is going to eat you for dinner. You will go down to her cave beneath the oldest oak tree and hang your hat on her door. It will start off nice, but everything you thought you wanted or needed will be stripped away with her look from across the table. Her gaze will stop time, it will, as the blood rushes from your veins.
She will say without saying it, “I have seen you and I see you, bones.”
and if you quake she will not care.
“Truth is truth”, she says. “It is what is.”
You will not be able to charm her. You will not be foolish enough to lie to her. As she mixes the tea, her frozen look will whisper to you without speaking,
“I have been hurt more than I could ever be. I have lost it all to the very last, my children, my pride, my plans and my hide. I am alone and no one can touch me now, because I want nothing. In wanting nothing, there are no ears for illusion’s siren songs. And having lost all of this, I have lost my own fear.
You will look back at her, and drown in your foibles. And she will watch you in your drowning.
If you survive yourself over tea, then she will dance for you, her wretched dance of pain and broken clattering. Will you withstand, as her body shakes in terrible jerks, a show, a vessel of power for a raging volcano? Her eyes host lightening bolts and her frame surges. With every gesture, she has become matter of fact, and in that rawness, her sex will have awakened without her knowing it – because it has become something else. Something not found in moving pictures and magazines. It has become something normal and personal. In her rawness, her scorched throat will have been quenched, and the air will feel authentic.
And after she has cooled, if you can sit with the rock in her heart and look back her gaze with love of your own, then you will be laughing at the night and she will laugh with you as the moon blisters bright and the owl howls at the river.
When Spring comes, the hag will go outside and fall into the earth as the Sun begins to warm her. She will lie there, rotting, waiting to die, wishing to die. She will even leave her body a ways but then she will be driven home, because in her belly will be new life and she will be drawn to it’s light. She will rock and hold herself. She will hide her baby as long as she can. But the Winter will be over and she’ll be drawn to rise, uncontrollably, to surrender herself once more to the labor of love, a love everlasting and relentless.