ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the September 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rowyn, [personal profile] kelkyag, and [personal profile] chordatesrock. It also fills "the cost of magic" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and the "hopeful" square in my 8-31-15 card for the Tones Bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

"Dreams of Little Feet"

When Bettina trudged up
to Fiorenza's door one day,
the wisewoman had an idea
what might be the trouble.

"Arrigo and I have been married
for a good while, and the saints know
we're trying, but we've had no good news,"
the young wife said sadly. "Is there
anything you could recommend?"

"Sometimes it takes magic to make life,"
said Fiorenza, who had after all helped
Bettina to bake a husband from
enchanted dough. "Here is
what we must do ..."

All in all, it took a month
for Bettina to pluck a bag of wool
from ewes who had dropped healthy lambs,
a second month for Bettina and Fiorenza
to do the spinning and the dyeing, then
a third month for Fiorenza to crochet
the yarn into booties and blanket
for a baby to come.

They traded with a passing merchant
for a box full of broken jewelry --
not for nothing was Bettina
her father's daughter! -- and
Fiorenza cut the pins from
the backs of broken brooches.

"I have dreams of little feet,"
Bettina said, "but I don't know
if they will ever come true."

Fiorenza patted her shoulder.
"Have faith," she said.
"Your dreams will come true.
We just have to wait for
the next full moon."

That evening they stretched out
the baby blanket over the ceiling
of Bettina's bedroom and used
seven silver pins to fasten
the threads of a dream
to the fabric of the night.

From one corner dangled
the pair of booties with
button pearls crocheted
into them for fertility,
as bright as tiny stars.

"Now what do we do?"
Bettina asked, looking up
at the beautiful display.

"Now you go and seduce that
handsome husband of yours,"
Fiorenza said with a wink, and
left her friend to the happy task.

Fiorenza did not tell Bettina how
she had spun so much of herself
into the yarn that it had soaked up
not just a great deal of energy but
several months of her own fertility --

but now was a good time
for Bettina to have a baby,
and it wasn't yet for Fiorenza.

Sometimes the cost of magic
was something you wanted to pay.

* * *


Traditionally, pearls symbolize fertility.

See the pearl booties and baby blanket.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-13 10:19 am (UTC)
gingicat: woman in a green dress and cloak holding a rose, looking up at snow falling down on her (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
Aww! Mind you, this now gives Fiorenza several months of pregnancy-risk-free sex, if she's so inclined. When I was in my mid-twenties, I'd have done that quite happily.


Date: 2015-11-13 02:20 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The result isn't something Fiorenza may have intended to use, but certainly sacrificing ANY fertility, when that is a biologically finite resource, makes a difference.

I love the imagery of the blanket pinned to the ceiling.

Re: Gift

Date: 2015-11-14 01:17 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer

The baby is born gingerbread, and, centuries later, the story still survives... in some form.


Re: Gift

Date: 2015-11-14 03:28 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer


My kids COULD outrun me a week after they started walking. At least they were inside doing the After-Bath Dash!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-13 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tadpoleacorn
Thank you for writing this. I really love reading about Fiorenza. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-13 04:09 pm (UTC)
pinkrangerv: White Hispanic female, with brown hair, light skin, and green eyes, against a background of blue arcane symbols (Default)
From: [personal profile] pinkrangerv
Gotta say, if there was a way to give my fertility away, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Let it go to someone who can use it!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-13 07:05 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Hear, hear!


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

April 2019

  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 222324252627

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags