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the witch who saw herself as queen

by Mageheart


There’s a witch that lives in a castle.
She fancies herself its queen.
Only she knows if she ever truly was.

She sits atop the throne
in an empty hall
and bemoans the lack of tapestries
on the throne room’s walls.

They used to sing her praises
before her heart turned to coal.
For all the kingdom’s lost children
called her castle home.

But one-by-one they left the halls
and left her on her own.
The witch thought good riddance
but waited for them to come home.

One-by-one they each returned
with gifts of gold and splendor.
Little did she know the gifts
were from the cheapest vendor.

The only one that failed to return
was her eldest son.
Yet he too finally caved and came
on the day of the brightest sun.

“Where are your gifts?” the witch asked
for his hands were bare.
“I brought myself,” the son replied
but the witch did not care.

“Your siblings come each fortnight
with the best trinkets and herbs.
Where were you when they were here?”
The witch was quite perturbed.

The son looked at her with golden eyes
and held his breath.
If he yelled, he’d use his voice
until there was nothing left.

“While I was here, I did everything for you.
I cleaned your halls, swept the floors
and dusted your finest jewels.
I did every and all of your chores.”

“The others did that, too,” the witch returned.
Yet he had been the one to stay
while all of the others left,
as the witch would always say.

“The others do not come with love
when they show up at your door.
They crave something more material
and then something more.”

“They covet your castle,
empty it may be.
They dream of that throne
and do not care for you or me.”

The witch’s coal heart burned
quite bright at those hurtful words
but the son turned around and left
for the outside world.

When the witch’s next oldest came
bearing a golden goblet ten days later,
the witch thought for a moment
before wishing for something greater.

There’s a witch that lives in a castle.
She fancies herself its queen.
Only she knows if she ever truly was.

She sits atop the throne
in an empty hall
and bemoans the one good son
who cared for her at all.


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551 Reviews


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Reviews: 551

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:10 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

I really enjoyed reading this poem! The way you described a parental relationship through this sort of fairytale-esque situation was nicely done. Regardless of whether she was a witch or a queen, she certainly was toxic in many senses. I liked how you chose to refer to her pretty consistently throughout the poem as a "witch;" it definitely condemned her behavior from the get-go, and then the queen aspect of it served to show how she believed herself to be a more benign force of control than she really was.

One thing I enjoyed was the tone you took with this piece. I think you maintained this really nice narrator presence throughout, making it feel quite like some parable or fairytale. I think this nearly prose-like quality came through especially in the dialogue between the witch and her son. Your word choices also helped develop a great tone as well.

The one thing I would say is that I couldn't quite get the flow of the poem down; generally, rhyme schemes lend themselves to a certain flow really well, and all the lines fall into place after that with the same sort of rhythm. I think it has something to do with your syllabic inconsistencies and overall patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables. I did enjoy the rhymes at the end of each line, but I felt they could be accentuated even more if there was a rhythm to go along with it.

Specifics

There’s a witch that lives in a castle.
She fancies herself its queen.
Only she knows if she ever truly was.

She sits atop the throne
in an empty hall
and bemoans the one good son
who cared for her at all.


Just wanted to say how much I adored the rehashed first two stanzas at the end. I'm a sucker for patterns in poetry and this took the cake! It was circular and illustrated the lesson in this poem very well, and it was just... such a good ending.

Overall: nice work!! I think this poem is a great exploration of entitled parents through a more simple situation. I enjoyed reading it very much, and I hope to read more of your poetry soon! Until next time!!




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21 Reviews


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Reviews: 21

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Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:57 am
VintageGirl says...



Hi, VintageGirl here! I think this is a lovely poem, and I like the rhyme scheme. It always sounds nice. I also just like the story, and how the witch changes through it. I don't think I have any critiques. Have a good day/night!




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356 Reviews


Points: 32
Reviews: 356

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Sat Jun 18, 2022 2:23 am
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



This is a cute and nice fantasy poem! Was the witch a Queen? Who knows? All we know is that her one son cared for her.Even when she was at her worst he never failed to love her deeply.Their bond ran through more than blood.A shame she knew when it was too late.Quite a shame.I hope you have a lovely day/night.





It's hard to enjoy practical jokes when your whole life feels like one.
— Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian