By Emmalea Russo

+ hovering above

false dandelion
like a mother

say: women in
your family
are witches

the garden is winter-still at lunchtime          i fill the hours with something like hiding

         make order
from what was
sheaf after sheaf
send them to the
clearing behind
the house which
is filling up fast

a neighbor painted her red barn white          how what’s under will seep through

garden                                                                                                                + wild field

metal fence
hoof resistant

say:           we are small inside the fenced-in green          even deer think so

a weed isn’t

          “supposed to be there”

but what we dig out space for


i’m not convinced        but you are

begin :                 to paint seeds

(summer’s over)           on canvas

someone says

couldn’t anyone
paint a seed
isn’t it a circle

i say


Today’s poem previously appeared in ILK journal and appears here today with permission from the poet.

Emmalea Russo is a poet and visual artist. Recent work has appeared in ILK Journal and Wicked Alice and is forthcoming in Ambush Review and Yew Journal. She lives in New York City.

Editor’s Note: I was first drawn to today’s poem by Emmalea Russo’s invocation of women witches. Those women who are cloaked in the magical and the incantatory, who suffered historically at the hands of Christianity, patriarchy, and empire, and who have been avenged and reclaimed by feminism and the Feminine in modernity. But after reading and re-reading today’s piece, after allowing its seeds to sprout in realms both conscious and subconscious, I now know that the poet sums up the experience of this poem best when she writes, “how what’s under will seep through.”

Want to see more by and about Emmalea Russo?
Wicked Alice
Vinyl Poetry
em:me magazine (Editor: Emmalea Russo)


  1. it is estimated that from several millions 60,000 witches were executed, took place in Germany, Switzerland, France, Scotland. France: executions took place where Catherism flourished, Germany: during religious fault lines and religious wars of 1600’s. In Salem, only 19 hanged, witches could appeal to higher court, in Europe, they could not. Puritan Matthew Hopkins, witch founder during English Civil War, Hopkins was paid a bounty for a every witch he hung, retired wealthy. ” Inquisitors tortured women in a search for evidence that the devil existed.”-Jack Holland


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