November 16, 2021

One Tiny Spell, By Jason P. Burnham

Editor’s note: Parenthood leads to a million wishes, and this poem addresses one of the biggest wishes parents ever make with charm and honesty. Enjoy!

She went to the grand wizard

Babe at her bosom, herself sunken and sallow of face

"Just one simple spell" she asked

And wanted no more, truly with all of her heart

Against snickers swirling the chamber, he took pity

Ceding her solicitation

"Magic will be wasted on her,” the whispers and shouts said

But the wizard scoffed

"How could one low as she threaten me? Or any of you?" And thereby silenced the chatter

Grateful she left, child at breast

But crying and fussing no more.

She knew it not yet, but one day they'd regret

Giving her this small slice of magic.


From all around, the mothers they came

Stumbling one over another

Not in a rush, simply too tired to see one in front of t'other

For the spell that she asked

Truly was small, though by no means simple

All she had wished was for quiet and calm from the babe in her arm and the power to speak it to be

So the mothers all asked

For one night of peace

And kindly she always would grant it

The mothers came to her from all 'cross the land

Til the wizard, less grand

Found his magic unfurled

A new most powerful in the world

The witch whose only spell

Was to help a mother sleep.


Bio: Jason P. Burnham is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher. He loves many things, among them sci-fi, his wife, sons,  and dog, metal music, Rancho Gordo beans, and equality (not necessarily in that order).


Image from Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms, by Thos. E. Hill, 1886


Kelly Jarvis said...

One tiny spell with great power! What a lovely poem!

Deborah L. Davitt said...

I'd have killed for that spell a few years ago. Nicely done!

Angelika said...

Wow. Best spell ever. As a mother of four, I ought to know. What a powerful story!

Jason P. Burnham said...

Aww thanks Kelly! Glad you enjoyed it

Jason P. Burnham said...

Hahaha thanks Deborah!

Jason P. Burnham said...

Thanks Angelika! Glad you enjoyed it

HulderMN said...

Predecessor to Mary Poppins, perhaps?
Clever poem!