Stay Dry, My Relic – by CARRIE REDWAY

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Stay Dry, My Relic



the tender thunder–

brazen like a slammed door

soft like a mother’s wisdom.


I wore a snail around my neck

in a small canvas bag tied with a delicate ribbon

it rested on my collarbone.

(An old French folktale says to wear a snail in a bag

around the neck to cure a fever.)


grief was the fever

regret was the fever

solitude was the fever                                      even ghosts brought fever


grandmother’s flames.

Lightning snapped the sky

the snail jumped–

Wind tore through the room

the bag swung, heavy like a used noose–

mother’s flames.

Always a reminder


The amulet wriggled against my chest

untie the ribbon, she begged.

I cradled the bag.



I would reserve seeing

the snail’s slow, slick

gloss trail to the mud puddle

for another time.


I knew she would not cure my fever.



Carrie Redway is a writer and mixed media artist in Seattle, WA. She is inspired by myth, folklore and ritual. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Really System, Picaroon Poetry and sea foam magazine. She tweets @carrie_redway.


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