Spells of Cast Iron by Sara Cleto & Brittany Warman
Editor’s note: Food and spells. Food as spells. Completely irresistible and so we didn’t resist it! Brittany and Sara are scholar poets who are also terrific teachers of folklore and writing. Learn more about their latest writing course here. But before that, enjoy this delightful poem.
There are spells of cast iron we know
with lines that echo, soft and low,
in our minds, in our hearts,
that help us not to fall apart.
The simplest one is easy to make,
soothing to mix, cleansing to bake,
a bit of milk, vanilla flower,
cinnamon for spice and power.
The brightest pumpkin from your path,
a few quick tears and buried wrath,
a circle of protective salt,
the knowledge that it's not your fault.
We sugar the spell a bit too sweet,
get distracted, drag our feet,
But it comes together, nonetheless,
this easeful comfort we possess.
And when the world is just too much,
we let our lips this hearth spell touch -
and in that act of letting go,
our next right steps begin to glow.
Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman are award-winning folklorists, teachers, and writers. Together, they founded The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, teaching creative souls how to re-enchant their lives through folklore and fairy tales. Their fiction and poetry can be found in Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, Liminality, and others.