Two Poems by Patricia J. Miranda

Burn by Anonymous

Witch Sonnet

Sometimes a chicken bone is an olive branch

is a bundle of twigs refusing the kindling

is the snowbird calling and the streak of a cat

is the sigh of flight—just in time

is filtered light as the trees loosen their shapes

is a fleck of sea on a dampened breeze

from a faraway dream

that is

not yours and the whisper at the window is

not the tread of booted feet is not

the lift of the door latch is

not the flare of a match is not

the swell of heat as the oven

yawns wide to take the fledgling, which is to say: what has always been its due.

The Coat of Pockets

It is always winter       in the woods

so the girl wears           her woolen coat, though

its sleeves                     are two seasons too short.

Her hands she keeps         in her pockets, for they’ve always been

empty, and here         she believes they

always will be.              She doesn’t see that

with each step,                      a pocket                 

appears,                   then deepens on the back of

her winter                    coat, into which are slipped

the forest’s gifts:           acorns

heavy with tree-might,        felt-soft leaves and those

crackled-crisp,                and spider-sacs of

insect hope                 from summer spent—

all stowed within        the girl’s deepening pocket.

And now                   dormouse and bat, stoat and hare

nestle                          in. The weight of these gifts marks her path—

deep                        and through to the

forest heart         where one ought never go with

empty                      hands.


Patricia J. Miranda writes fabulist and fantasy fiction for adults and children. She was the 2016 finalist for the Fairy Tale Review prose contest and the 2017 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Middle Grade Fiction. Her poetry has been featured in apt, Frontier Poetry, Heron Tree, Hyphen, Into the Void, Kitaab, and other literary journals. She just emerged from a three-year revision of a middle-grade novel about a girl and a goblin who join forces to repair their Splintered world, and she now has hope the same healing process can begin in the real world.

Anonymous is a fiction writer, visual artist, and musician. She tends to involve nature and magic in her work and sometimes struggles to find the difference between them.