The Spider Smirks 

By Linda M. Crate

In the cabin in the woods
there’s a murderous
cannibal witch
whose cabin is covered
in the bones
of those she’s devoured,

the little children
don’t believe in her
they insist she’s a tall tale
parents tell to keep
their children from wandering
deep in the forest’s heart,

and that’s what she’s
counting on
because deep in these woods
only darkness and crows
rises like smoke
from a chimney;
so thick no one hears or sees
the screaming of those
who will never wake again
once she’s through with them—

the witch can only
remain young
by their flesh, blood, and bone;
so she sits in waiting
and suddenly she smells
little children,

two little boys and a little girl
curious and afraid
they wander

she opens the door, offering food;
they don’t realize that no one
ever wakes after tasting her stew
they go in not knowing the danger
caught like flies in the spider’s net
and the spider smirks
ready for her taste of flesh.


About The Author

Linda M Crate

Linda M. Crate’s poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.

She has five published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).

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