Impish by Mary Franklin


I am covered with curly brown hair and I wear
a brown mantle and hood. Small and wrinkled
I hate being seen, work only at night, disappear

at sunrise. My chair is by the kitchen hearth
though no one sees me sit there, after I’ve swept
all the floors, churned the butter and earned

my bowl of porridge and honey. Then it’s time
to rest in the dark poky hole I call home
high in the attic. These Yorkshire folk are fine

but once a Norfolk owner set out new clothes
for me. The cheek of it! Didn’t he know
I’m a brownie, working because I choose?

I caused milk to sour and pulled blankets
off his sleeping children before I vanished
in a huff with an ample supply of candles.

Mary Franklin has had poems published in various journals including Iota, The Open Mouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, London Grip and Three Drops from a Cauldron, as well as several anthologies, most recently by Three Drops Press.  She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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