catechism for a witch's child

Catechism for a Witch’s Child:

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird’s wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life’s reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being

—  J.L. Stanley, 1986

When they ask to see your gods, 
Your book of prayers, 
Show them lines drawn delicately
With veins on the underside of a bird’s wing. 
Tell them you believe in giant sycamores, 
Mottled and stark against a winter sky. 
And in night’s so frozen
Stars crack open, 
Spilling streams of molten ice to Earth. 
And tell them how you drank
The holy wine of honeysuckle
On a warm spring day.
And of the softness of your mother,
Who never taught you death was life’s reward; 
But who believed in the earth, 
And the sun, 
And in a million, million light years of being.
—J.L. Stanley  Catechism for a Witch’s Child