Kirsten Jacobson: Kingdom of Toads

Once upon a time I knew how to take away pain.  Villagers mocked me as a witch but crept to my door in secret.

The king’s brother visited my cottage and behaved badly. 

Now he is a toad and my belly is a mountain. I am in pain in the castle dungeon.

I reach out for my son, wanting to hold him, but he is swaddled and rushed upstairs.  He is the king’s nephew.

I may be in chains but I can promise that until I hold my child, every mother in the kingdom will give birth to a tadpole.


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