Black Oak

by Leo Yankevich

At midnight, just beneath the sunken moon,
there is a glade, where leaf on fallen leaf
lie underneath her long and bony arms.
There, naked, she awaits her time to come.
But, singing in her way a mournful tune
of many years gone by, of death and grief,
of olden incantations, herbs, and charms,
she never moves on, only gestures some
to frightened voles and sage and sleepless owls.
You crouch and watch amid ferns, ill at ease
at what you see: a crow's eye of a ditch;
and what you hear: her consonants and vowels
caught and carried far off by the breeze.
And for a moment you think: she's a witch.

© 2007 by Leo Yankevich


About the Author

Leo Yankevich lives with his wife and three sons in Gliwice, Poland. His poems have appeared in scores of literary journals of both sides of the Atlantic, most recently in Blue Unicorn, Chronicles, Envoi, Iambs & Trochees, Staple, and Windsor Review. Visit him online at:


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