Hecate of the Wild

A Poem by Kendra Leonard

I’m not your lover
and I’m not your girl
and I will leave this house for the wood

and there I’ll make myself
a place
of timber and branch
and mystery.

All the children shall call me the witch
though I haven’t a single spell,
but do walk alone in the night
to watch the bats
go hunting.

I’ll build and build,
my own two hands and a saw,
my own two eyes and a hammer,
and in the spirit-guarded strangler fig,
there’s my very own house,
the world turned upside down.

And in this golden, rosy-fingered tree
I’ll too be golden, a goddess of the dawn
and of stray dogs
and the night

no one’s girl,
a little Hecate of the wild.

Kendra Preston Leonard is a poet, lyricist, and librettist whose work is inspired by the local, historical, and mythopoeic. Her chapbook Making Mythology was published in 2020 by Louisiana Literature Press, and her work has appeared in vox poetica, lunch, The Waggle, and Lily Poetry Review, among other venues. Her novella-in-verse Protectress, about the gorgons in the modern world, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2022. Leonard collaborates regularly with composers on new operas and songs. Follow her on Twitter at @K_Leonard_PhD or visit her site kendraprestonleonard.hcommons.org.

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