A Prayer to Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, they say to be scared of you.

But you help those who help themselves.

Your iron teeth that grind the bones,

Your flying mortar,

Your house on chicken legs,

Your fence of flaming skulls…

All are meant to turn away those who are easily set aside.

Grandmother, the path to your door is not meant for the faint of heart, you are for those with nothing left to lose.

Baba Yaga, terrifying goddess of the dark moon, your love is fiercer than most can ever recognize.

You are the old grandmother who has walked uphill in the snow both ways, you’re the old lady who survived the war. You made it through the depression without eating.

You’re a survivor.

I want to be like you.

You like fighters who don’t play by the rules.

I may be the underdog that no one is rooting for, but I will sort the lentils using everything at my disposal.

My mother’s doll will whisper to me and at the end of the day, you’ll have a meal fit for a queen. I am blessed by my mother and I am blessed by you.

All is not lost and you’ll prove it to me.

No one expects me to survive you, they sent me here to die.

But I understand tough love and I’m here to prove to you that I’ve got the fight in me to make it.

In the end, after I’ve won your respect , those who sent me here will bear the brunt of the wrath you gave me.

Test me, try me, give me your flame.

Not all can survive this, but then you know that.

Make me over in your image, make me harder to kill.

I want to tell my granddaughters about the tests I passed, I want to teach them to accept the hard things life, that cruel bitch, hands us.

I may not be pretty, I may not be nice, but I will get through this.

Let me carry your fire, let me take your coals.

It would burn anyone else to cinders, but I’m made of sterner stuff.

I am afraid, but there’s more to this then that.

I’ve started down this path and now there’s no turning back.

Your white rider, your red rider and the black one too have all ridden past me, time passes, the world keeps spinning.

One foot in front of the other…

Trudging uphill on a mountain that never ends.

So here I am, ready to work.

Give me the tough chicken talons to rake the earth.

Ancient Mother, I love you despite yourself, because I understand the things that made you.

I am you as the maiden, before they knew to be scared.

If I have to yank my own teeth out to gain your iron, I will.

Because life isn’t easy and that’s the point.

They think you’re terrifying, but I know the depth of your love.

In the darkest moment, that’s the strength we need to get through it.

Your scrawny arms have the raw strength to maintain the death grip to hold on for dear life.

So do your worst, I’m up for the task.

Help me help myself.

Grandmother, your curse is my blessing.





Copyright Lauren E. DeVoe

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