The Crane Wife

by Brittany Warman

I cannot lie to you.
(I cannot lie.)

Instead, I pull white feathers from this foreign body
and shut 

Each extraction, a sharp prick of pain, 
a loss softer than your kiss. 
For you, I do this. 

The cloth I make is the silk mist of our now lonely mornings,
the remembered happiness of old pine trees after a summer rain.
It is made from the ghostly touch of your hands, 
our forgotten laughter.

(Over our knives and feathers, 
these needles and my dreams of freedom, 
I have cried.)

And when you finally see what I do -
when your eyes take in my blood soaked dress,
my pain soaked eyes, and you say...


that will be the end. 
(I will not lie.)


Brittany Warman is a PhD student in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University. Her creative work has been published by Stone Telling, Mythic Delirium, Cabinet des Fees, Ideomancer, Niteblade, and others. You can find her online at

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