Numb, stiff, broken by no sleep, I keep night watch. Looking for signs to quiet fear, I creep closer to his bed and hear his breath come and go, holding my own as if my own were all I paid. Nothing I bring, say, or do has meaning here.
Outside, ice crusts on river and pond; wild hare come to my door pacified by torture. No less ignorant than they of what grips and why, I am moved to prayer, the quaint gestures which ennoble beyond shame only the mute listener.
No one hears. A dry wind shifts dry snow, indifferently; the roof, rotting beneath drifts, sighs and holds. Terrified by sleep, the child strives toward consciousness and the known pain. If it were mine by one word I would not save any man,
I left but false remembrance and the name? Against that day there is no armor or stance, only the frail dignity of surrender, which is all that can separate me now or then from the dumb beast's fall, unseen in the frozen snow.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."