Archive for January 10th, 2014

Friday, 10 January 2014

Gretel by Andrea Hollander Budy

A woman is born to this:
sift, measure, mix, roll thin.

She learns the dough until
it folds into her skin and there is

no difference. Much later
she tries to lose it. Makes bets

with herself and wins enough
to keep trying. One day she begins

that long walk in unfamiliar woods.
She means to lose everything

she is. She empties her dark pockets,
dropping enough crumbs

to feed all the men who have ever
touched her or wished.

When she reaches the clearing
she is almost transparent—

so thin
the old woman in the house seizes

only the brother. You know the rest:
She won’t escape that oven. She’ll eat

the crumbs meant for him, remember
something of his touch, reach

for the sifter and the cup.


Date: 1993

By: Andrea Hollander Budy (1947- )