she swallowed small chunks of old wood.
It tasted of absence,
a thing that was not anymore.
Bits broke soft without a crack
between her back teeth.
She liked how it could go in grey
and came out the colour of coal.
When it pricked her finger,
her father painted its tip bright with Mercurochrome,
and she hid the dangerous last of her wood
in the middle of a juniper bush.
It became the remains of a star there,
fell to earth to gift her with powers,
and she turned in windy circles
on days when it might rain
to chant prayers to a lonely god
about the wood in her belly
and the star that made her strong.