The Storyteller, Paul Pruitt

Charles Hood, Tibet Front Porch


The Storyteller


From the willow cave, Margaret T
Told stories in strange tongues, 
Hissing, swaying like green willow ropes
Shaken by the breeze.

Her words, unclear.
Their meaning, quite clear:
There’s a ghost in your house. You’ll die
Of bellyache—so soon!

One evening I ran home
To do the prudent thing.
Slipped under the bed, lay still
Just long enough.

Rapid footsteps— 
Floorboards creaking,
Mom’s voice:
“What’s wrong with you?”

I told her. Then she told me.
That night slept easy. But soon,
Again: Tugging the willow ropes,
Watching, listening to Margaret T.

Paul Pruitt

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