by Caitlyn Paxson
From what shall they make their lanterns?
Woven rough with flecks of flowers
Hollowed thin with empty bellies
Wound up loose to rounded baskets
A pink shell
Worn light by time and distance passed
Where shall their slender feet bring them?
Pale wheat bows down where they pass by
Trees sigh as skirts brush against bark
Flat boats skim them across water
Rocks roll aside to let them pass
Who shall see the lights they carry?
Long to bring those fires to hearth
Glimpsing the dancing lights write verse
Build marriage beds from soft pine wood
Set aside their walking staves
Where shall they live when they are wed?
In stone huts
They shall break bread warmed with honey
In tree tops
They lie arm in arm with branches
In long halls
Their laughter sounds between arched walls
In wide fields
They gaze up at the lantern stars
Caitlyn Paxson is a writer and storyteller. She has pursued studies in writing, folklore, and performance in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland and France. She is the Managing Artistic Director of the Ottawa StoryTellers, and her writing can be found in publications such as Shimmer, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, and Cabinet des Fees. She currently resides in Ottawa, and is putting the finishing touches on a novel about French witches and the werewolves who want to eat them.
Photography: Mikyung Lee, by Michael Oh.