Chana Bloch





Brothers

When I was the Baba Yaga of the house 
on my terrible chicken legs,  
the children sat close on the sofa as I read,				 
both of them together  
determined to be scared.  				 

Careful! I cackled, stalking them		 		 
among the pillows:	
You bad Russian boy,
I eat you up!   							 
They shivered and squirmed, my delicious sons, 		 

waiting for a mighty arm					 
to seize them. 
I chased them screeching down the hall,  
I catch you, I eat you!
my witch-blade hungry for the spurt	  			  	 
of laughter—						 
					 
     What stopped me  	 
even as I lifted my hand?  			    
The stricken voice that cried: Eat him! 		 
Eat my brother.