There was an old lady who lived in the woods, in a cottage by the river where the wild roses grow, their stems as white as bone.
Inside she would sit at her wheel and spin strands of her hair into silk. And with this silk she would weave gloves, each as thin as a veil and as soft as skin.
From the towns, on the nights before their weddings, young women would come. They made their way, as quiet as they could, by the light of the moon, through the woods and down, down, down, to the cottage by the river where the wild roses grow, their stems as white as bone, their thorns as thick as fingernails.
A knock on the door, and the old lady would say “Come in”. Held out hands offered payment, and the old lady would take her cut.
The gloves the women wore as they made their way back home, and for the rest of their married lives. Their thumbs the old lady planted in her garden by the river where the wild roses grow, the stems as white as bone, the thorns as pale as fingernails, the roses as red as a scream.
1. Written on September 7th, 2017
2. The line “where the wild roses grow” is from Where The Wild Roses Grow, by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue (obviously)