Grethel (v2)

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NotQuiteSure
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:41 pm

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v2
Grethel


"I won't" she said, "I won't go back.
Not this time. To her? To Dad?

It's twice they have abandoned us
to die alone here in the woods

with only two small knubs of bread.
Oh no, that's right, just one. You fed

yours to all those peckish birds.
'Don't worry', you said, 'could be worse,'

remember?
And it was.


For days we hungered in the forest,
then, like magic, poof! a cottage

of gingerbread and sugar-glass.
We didn't stop to think or ask

but stole a bite, then stole another;
we might have stolen it to rubble

until we heard the beldam's voice.
'Don't worry', you said, 'could be worse,'

remember?
And it was.


Me, a slave and you in chains,
a Christmas goose, locked in a cage.

'You feed your brother, make him fat.'
A witch, in all her appetites.

And what did you do? Eat and moan
and trick her with your little bone.

Each day you did I felt her wrath.
'Don't worry', you said, 'could be worse,'

remember?
And it was.


I close my eyes. I push her in.
Her clothes catch fire, her eyes aflame,

I smell the sizzle of her hair,
my hands burn as I hold the door.

I close my eyes. I hear her scream,
the spit of fat, her feet kicking

and everywhere the reek of flesh,
her bitterness made sweet in death."

"Are you alright? Your eyes are red."
"I know. It could be worse," she said.



_____________________




Grethel*


"I won't" she said, "I won't go back.
Not this time. To her? To Dad?

It's twice they have abandoned us
to die alone in the deep woods

with only two small knubs of bread.
Oh no, that's right, just one. You fed

yours to all those peckish birds.
"Don't worry," you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


Days we hungered in the forest,
then, like magic, poof! a cottage

of gingerbread and sugar-glass.
We didn't stop to think or ask

but stole a bite, then stole another;
we might have stole that house to rubble

until we heard the beldam's voice.
"Don't worry," you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


Me a slave and you in chains,
a Christmas goose, locked in a cage.

'Feed your brother, make him fat.'
The witch, in all her appetites.

And what did you do? Eat and moan
and trick her with your little bone.

Each day you did I felt her wrath.
'Don't worry,' you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


I close my eyes. I push her in.
Her clothes on fire, her eyes a flame,

I smell the sizzle of her hair,
my hands burn as I hold the door.

I close my eyes. I hear her scream,
the spit of fat, her feet kicking

and everywhere the reek of meat,
roasting to an awful sweetness."

"Are you alright? Your eyes are red."*
"I know. It could be worse," she said.





(*and Hansel)

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Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:24 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Macavity
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:47 pm

What's a knub Not?

Does Grethel equate to Gretel in German?

This reads like a prose narrative, and it works on that level.

"I won't" she said, "I won't go back.
Not this time. To her? To Dad?

It's twice they have abandoned us
to die alone in the deep woods

with only two small knubs of bread.
Oh no, that's right, one crust, you fed

yours to all those peckish birds.
"Don't worry," you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


Days we hungered in the forest,
then, like magic, poof! a cottage

of gingerbread and sugar-glass.
We didn't stop to think or ask

but stole a bite, then stole another;
we might have stole that house to rubble.....................nice line

until we heard the beldam's voice.
"Don't worry," you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


Me a slave and you in chains,
a Christmas goose, locked in a cage.

'Feed your brother, make him fat.'
A witch, with all her appetites.

And what did you do? Eat and moan
and trick her with your little bone.

Each day you did I felt her wrath.
'Don't worry,' you said, 'could be worse.'

Remember?
And it was.


I close my eyes. I push her in.
Her clothes on fire, her eyes a flame,

I smell the sizzle of her hair,
my hands burn as I hold the door.

I close my eyes. I hear her scream,
the spit of fat, her feet kicking

and everywhere the reek of meat,
roasting to an awful sweetness."

"Are you alright? Your eyes are red."*
"Don't worry. Could be worse," she said.
NotQuiteSure
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:56 pm

Hi mac,
thanks for the read.

knub (n.)
"small lump, butt-end or piece," 1560s, probably cognate with Low German knubbe "knot, knob,"
Danish knub "block, log, stump".
Macavity wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:47 pm
Does Grethel equate to Gretel in German?
Variant spellings (Gretel/Grettel/Grethel), you takes your pick.

- revisions
L06, changed from
Oh no, that's right, one crust, you fed
L24, changed from
A witch, with all her appetites.
L40, changed from
"Don't worry. Could be worse," she said.

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NotQuiteSure
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:56 pm

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An alternative to lines 37/38

and everywhere the reek of flesh,
her sour life made sweet in death.


Any thoughts?


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Macavity
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:04 pm

and everywhere the reek of flesh,
her sour life made sweet in death.
Yes, better sonics.
NotQuiteSure
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:18 am

Thanks mac.
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