Wise Woman

Wise woman of Vermont, come out of the forest
Assure me I won’t die lonely in these woods, show me
How to keep owls out of my hair, tell me how
To stack wood, to shoot tresspassers, to seal the cracks
In my heart to keep the ice out, promise me
A catamount won’t think I’m food
Make me a pot of venison stew
While you describe what to expect during the Changes
When you no longer sleep and my sorrow seems girlish
Teach me how to trim my whiskers when I get witchy
Advise me which mushrooms won’t kill us quickly
Suggest stapling my kid to the wall till he’s twenty-six
Tell me of your childless aunt who died asking for her kids
How do I make it in this cold hard land?
Tell me, where is the treasure buried?
What’s the song I have to sing to myself?

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Camille Guthrie is the author of four books of poetry: Diamonds, Articulated Lair: Poems for Louise Bourgeois, In Captivity, and The Master Thief. Her poems have appeared in such journals as At Length, Boston Review, Green Mountains Review, Interim, The Iowa Review, The New Republic, and Tin House, as well as in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2019 & 2020, The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, and Art & Artists: Poems. Guthrie has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell and the Yaddo Foundation. She received her MFA from Brown University and her BA from Vassar College. The Director of the Undergraduate Writing Initiatives at Bennington College, she lives in rural Vermont.