When I was the Baba Yaga of the house
on my terrible chicken legs,
the children sat close on the sofa,
the two of them together,
determined to be scared.
Careful! I'd cackle, stalking them
among the pillows:
If you be bad Russian boy,
I eat you up!
They'd shiver and squirm, my delicious sons,
as they waited for an outstretched arm
to seize them.
I would chase them squawking down the hall,
I catch you, I eat you,
my witch blade hungry for the spurt
What stopped me
even as I lifted my hand
was the stricken voice that called out:
Eat my brother.