Why You Might Be a Witch

Why You Might Be a Witch

By Theodora Goss


Because sometimes you dream of flying

the way you used to.


Because the traffic light always changes for you.

Because when you throw the crusts of your sandwich

to sparrows in the public park, they hop close

and closer, until they perch on your finger

and look at you sideways.


Because as you walk down the street,

the wind plays with the hem of your skirt

so it swings dramatically around your ankles.


Because as you walk, determined and sensible,

your shadow is dancing.


Because a lot of people talk to cats

but for you, they answer.


Because the sweetgum trees along the sidewalk

love to show you their leaves, sometimes even tossing

them in front of you, yellow veined red,

brown shot with green and yellow,

like children showing off artwork.


Because when you look up,

the moon is always smiling.


Because sometimes darkness closes around you

and you remind yourself that it’s all right,

you’ve worn this cloak before.


Because in winter you acknowledge

that snow is a blanket as well as a shroud,

and we must all sleep sometimes.


Because in spring you can hear the tinkling bell sounds

that crocuses make, and the deeper gongs of the tulips.


Because the river waves to you in passing,

and you wave back.


Because even the brownstones of this ancient city

look at you with concern: they want to make sure you’re well.

You belong to them as much as they to you.


Because witches know what they are

and if I asked, do you remember?

You would have to confess that yes,

you do.