Traveling through America, in search of the Shrine
you know the one, mister, the place that encapsulates
our nation’s fears, dreams, triumphs + loathing –
some say the shrine is a shopping mall
Mother Church of Consumerism
but you know better
It’s been so long since I’ve
walked in these woods,
surrounded by trees
on a humid summer night.
It’s dusk and tree cover provides
shade on the trails, but we still
huff, puff with each mile.
This looks like an awfully nice backdrop for a wedding, right? Well, that’s exactly what it was in October 2019 when Rachel’s brother got married. I got to hang with Rachel’s family during that trip to Tennessee.
My anxiety has been getting the best of me lately, but it’s improving. The other day, my grandfather and I spent a quiet hour at a little creek and wooded area in our neighborhood just to get out of the house. It helped.
The Witch Queen nurses you to health and assures you
she means no harm – the people fear her because she’s
ageless and has wandered these woods for centuries,
speaking with wild animals and traversing the dark
landscape, looking for lost travelers.
She tends to their wounds, offers medicine in her hut,
then devours them in sexual ecstasy like they’ve
never experienced before. They all leave feeling better –
the Witch Queen is your friend, not your enemy.
(Photo by Miriam Espacio on Unsplash)
Note: This poem was inspired by a character in Old Gods of Appalachia, a horror anthology podcast that I’m currently obsessed with.