Dutiful Daughter By Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell


“Persistent vegetative state;
No hope for recovery”
Or so they say
And I hope to God they’re right this time
But, then, they also say
There’s no Devil in the Craft
Which means there’s no God, either
So I’m probably on my own –
Not an unfamiliar place

For a Solitary to be

I don’t want to do it
But what choice did I have?
She had turned her back on the Rede
After years of heartache and poverty
“Do no harm” and the Rule of Three
No longer mattered to her
She had no Power
And she wanted
And that was all the justification
Her bitter heart needed

But she had taught me well
Better than she intended, surely
For when I saw the herbs
Laid out on her altar –
quassia, master of the woods, and witch grass –
I knew what she intended
It was an election year, after all,
And the frontrunner
Was coming to our little town
To kiss babies and drum up votes

I thought she meant only
To influence or seduce him
The agrimony I added slyly to her spell
As she cast about for matches
Should not have harmed her
But no sooner had she uttered
Her last “so mote it be!”

Than she convulsed
Collapsing into unconsciousness
And the paramedics could not revive her

Now she lies in a hospital bed
Victim of an inexplicable aneurism
And I know I should not be afraid
But I see her silhouette still against the moon
Hear her chanting on the wind
And I clutch my mojo bag
Stuffed with devil pod and fennel
And I pray that Mother
Will hurry up and die
Maybe then she will stop haunting me

Multiple Scribe and Rhysling Award nominee Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell is the author of twelve books to date. Her work includes Mafia III: Plain of Jars, co-written with writing partner/husband Jeff Mariotte and based on the hit video game; 7 SYKOS, a near future SF/H thriller (also with Mariotte); The Shard Axe series, the only official novels that tie into the popular fantasy MMORPG, Dungeons & Dragons Online; an urban fantasy trilogy based on Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice comic books; a trilogy based on the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (co-written with Mariotte); dozens of short stories and poems; multiple articles on writing and the writing process; and a handful of comic book scripts. She resides in the Valley of the Sun, where she writes dark fiction and poetry in a home she and her family have dubbed ‘Redwall.’ Find out more here: http://www.marsheilarockwell.com/.
Published 5/12/19