She calls him pet names,
smiling,
her hair shining warm
in the grey cold castle,
wishes him to know
how much she's done for him.
Whispers in his ear
and takes his hand:
a voice that understands seduction
better than lullabyes.

And the boy,
when he understands at last
the webs she's woven,
has nothing to say:

He stands
at the door of the bower
watching her take up the spindle --
her hands are white and slender
against her golden gown --
and feels the threads tighten
around him.

He wonders, in the silence,
how soon his mother's hand will throw him back
(the poison arrow,
the crystal shattering glass)
and how hard he will hit.