Gretel Released Unharmed

David Moolten Click to

dmoolten-251David Moolten's most recent book, Primitive Mood, received the T. S. Eliot Prize for poetry from Truman State University.  He is a physician specializing in transfusion medicine and lives in Philadelphia.

Click to hear David Moolten read his poem, “Gretel Released Unharmed”

Holding a knife, the old woman looks out
On dark familiar country through the window
Which frames her like an oven’s lit square.
Trees swallow the girl whole. Her trail’s thin
As a hiss, its tidbits stale as stone leading
Back generations. But the town finds her
Soul unrisen like the damp yeast-less flour.
The murdered ducks waits patiently on hooks
As though the dinner guests might resume
Recounting the exodus, a time before
The maid’s skittish scream. But it’s too late,
Already her story, her wrist the red hand
Grabs like a child about to run in the street,
No need of evil in the world, her eyes large,
Her innocence endlessly sufficient.