A Witch’s Apple
By Rebecca Buchanan
For every witch there is an apple.
Choose yours with care.
Watch them as they bob and swirl
in the pure waters of the cauldron.
(Not too close or you’ll set your robes on fire.)
Will it be that one, the rosy red with a firm stem?
Or that one, a blush of yellow on one side?
Or that one there, a tart green with just a hint of pink?
Or the black one, candlelight skimming across its surface?
Whichever you choose, do not break the skin.
Close your teeth around it gently.
If you can taste its juice
—sweet or sour or tart—
it is already too late.
(Don’t whine. A witch’s orchard always needs more trees.)
Now, what to do with the apple?
(What, you thought that was the only decision
you would have to make? The life of a witch
is one of choices and consequences.)
You may, if you so choose,
place it beneath your pillow
and dream a true dream of the future.
Or, you may take it to the graveyard
and leave it upon a tomb
in exchange for knowledge otherwise unknowable.
Or you may take it to a place where the veil is thin,
calling forth your familiar and binding it to you, heart and soul.
There are consequences to each of these choices.
(Really, how many times do I have to repeat myself?)
A true dreaming cannot be changed,
no matter how much you may try to do so,
and will leave you muttering and bitter.
Knowledge that is unknowable
is unknowable for a reason
and will leave you white-haired and cackling.
And if you should bind yourself, heart and soul,
to your familiar, you will share its life and its death.
(No, i will not tell you what I did with my apple.)
(And any witch who tells you what you should or must or will do with an apple is not.
A witch, that is.)
There is another choice, of course,
and that is to not choose at all.
To do nothing.
(And sometimes nothing is the wisest course of all.)
So gather ’round, my witches,
Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine, Eternal Haunted Summer, and a regular contributor to EvOke: Witchcarft*Paganism*Lifestyle. Her poems and short stories have been published in a wide variety of venues, and she has released three short story collections. A complete list can be found at eternalhauntedsummer.com.