Volume 14:4, Fall 2013
Prose Poem Issue
How to Visit Baba Yaga
Think of: light. Ask her: Do you have one? Get her to not: boil water, put you in it, eat you. Do: all her tasks, survive, use your wit but not your tongue. Think of: your mother. Ask the doll she left you: help. Achieve: a meal fit for twelve men (she will eat it all), crushed poppy seed oil (she will use it all), a clean hut on chicken-wire legs (she will marvel at you). Ask her for: permission, three questions, three answers. Query: Who was the white horseman who rode past me in the forest? Wait for: gnashing iron, her swiftness of answer, the dawn. Query: Who was the red horseman? Wait for: iron sparks, the quicker grinding of iron. Query: Who was the black? Wait for: fierceness of voice, raging eyes, her Any other questions?! Speak!! Hold: your tongue. Hold: further questions. Hold: your youth, back. Hold: your ground. Know she: will press you, thinks its just as well to shut your mouth, still wants to boil you, still wants your bones for her wall, knows not what you are capable of, she will ask you how youve managed to come this far. Say: You are of your mother, that you are blessed because. She will: gnash her iron teeth, dig her curved crone claws into your back, push you out of her hut, force light upon you. You will: survive. You will: pocket that doll. You will: become aware of the purity of your heart. You will: thank your mother. You will: persist. You: will persist. You will persist.
A.K. Padovich is a writer and graduate student from Mesa, AZ, now residing in Fairfax, VA. She is a second-year poetry candidate in the creative writing graduate program, and English Composition teacher, at George Mason University. She obtained an undergraduate degree in the Arts from the University of Washington, with departmental honors; traveled parts of Europe and the Baltic region; wrote an extensive research thesis on a Stalinist-era Russian novel; and acted as a tutor and teacher of English and poetry in the Russian Federation, Seattle, Mesa, and currently in the George Mason Writing Center. Her work has been featured in Bricolage Literary and Arts Journal, Sanctuary: A Literary Anthology, and Mare Nostrum.