Mother Hulda


You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about and then in the world it snows, for I am Mother Hulda.” Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Lucy Crane, The World Publishing Company, Cleveland,1947, pp.104

Mother Hulda

The girl falls down a deep well,
only to emerge on the other side.
She crawls out and walks the blue fields.

She meets an old woman, whose teeth
curve like icicles, whose hands
are splintered spoons. This Mother’s
eyes are mesmerizing planets.

The girl takes bread from the oven
and shakes down the apples like a good worker.
She airs Mother’s bedding and snow falls
down in the land of the living.

This suicide lives.
She eats the foods of heaven:
partridge hearts,
and eagle livers.

She lives.

Lucy Simpson


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