That Summer

by Jeana Jorgensen

A witch is worth more than her
herb stores and potions. And yet.

Oh, that summer…

That was the summer when I did not make jam
or preserve, pickle, or can, too deep in grief
to mind my craft.

Rows of empty jars line my shelves
and now a winter wind, a hungry wind,
howls outside and I won’t starve (probably).

Hollow heart, husk of a heart,
must I forgive myself
before I say: replenish yourself?

Jeana Jorgensen earned her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She researches gender and sexuality in fairy tales and fairy-tale retellings, folk narrative more generally, body art, dance, and feminist/queer theory. Her poetry has appeared at Strange Horizons, Nevermore Journal, Liminality, Glittership, and other venues. Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.