Field study in wildness eradication
Begin with a house.
Fill it with thunder, always turned loud.
In the back bedroom, trap seven octopuses to swim
two sisters’ ceiling so neither will learn to dream.
Introduce gardens of books that ladybirds
will crawl from all over the murky hallway.
Encourage mother’s shadow to construct
haunted castles from the pages.
A wolf dressed as a buck rabbit should be let in
on a Friday night to sleep on the wrecked settee.
If he decides to strangle mother whenever
she sings, do not be alarmed. She’s unnecessary.
Construct the first dad as a fairytale ogre
all the faraway cousins will fawn over.
Have him lock oldest sister in a bible
when she reaches ten, forget to feed her.
Arrange for an owl-faced man to swear
she is as dark as Sylvia Plath so she has
to fuck his older brother inside a bell jar
at the front of a ruined chemistry class.
Do not chase her when she runs away
with a vampire after he convinces
her cracked head to become a circus.
Ban her from making friends with her heart
in case it is an unfenced field grown
specifically to home runaway horses in.
Let one of their childhood friends belong
to the moon so when it takes her body back
at thirty the sisters will blossom sadness.
Do not laugh when one of them falls head over
numpty in love with her dazzling best friend.
When the pair of them begin to write beautiful stories
on each other’s toes force him to feed hers to gulls.
Teach the oldest lass that puddles
can also be oceans where she will have
to watch an antlered man drown.
Wrap the whole experiment up in cotton,
place in a drawer at the bottom of a pantry.
Pickle for decades so the vinegar can strengthen.
Unscrew the lid and watch the glorious mess coagulate.
Then the important part:
Find the next naïve ingredients.
Keep performing this, on repeat.
Marcia Hindson’s work has appeared in The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed With Pipework, Bare Fiction, and also regularly published in Vext Magazine. She has recently learned that her garden is not a scary place, so is currently coaxing a myriad of root vegetables to come and live there. She will, of course, end up naming them all.