Mary McMyne: Heyghoge
Blind, he wandered about in the forest, eating nothing but grass and roots, and doing nothing but weeping and wailing over the loss of his beloved wife.
— from “Rapunzel” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1857, tr. Ashliman)
Into the thorns you fell, a poor thing, to become blind eater of grass and roots,
the once-prince turned urchin, moonrat, heyghoge, a snuffling creature
with unseeing eyes.
Wander the woods at night, scent the trees, eat your snails and frogs and berries.
Stumble into the feet of the mother of your children as she suckles them, one
on each breast, the twins – of fate and forgetfulness – the scent you once licked
and bit gone wild.
Press your snout into her bare feet. She has forgotten you. Remind her. Remind her.
Lick and bite her until you froth. Lick her new scent onto your spines. Then show her what the witch has made of you. Only her tears can change you back. Only she
can heal your eyes.