there they were again:
The three pairs of hands

crushing the corn into meal
grinding the wheat into flour
pressing the poppy seeds into oil

and printing the final copy

full color
full scale

at high resolution
on photogloss paper

As Vasalisa stood
next to Baba Yaga

by the loom
near the mill
kneeling at the giant Epson printer

she took the opportunity
to inquire of the Yaga
if perhaps now she could have the fire
to bring back to her home?

Baba Yaga heaved a frustrated sigh.

“Don’t you want to Learn anything from ME first?”

Well, sure...
Vasalisa had been curious about a few things around the joint.
Vasalisa went ahead and asked the hag about those horses:

"I was just wondering...Who was that White guy?”

“Oh, that is my daybreak.
He always makes the deliveries at the crack of dawn.”

“And... the Red one?

“He is my sunset. A real hot head, but dependable.”

“And what's the story on the Black fellow?”

“Ah, that is my Night.
You’d better keep an eye on him, he works the late shift...

I SUPERVISE all of them.
I keep them here < in this locked file cabinet
< in this portfolio < on this zip disk.

Well, actually...
< they’re in this folder
< inside this other folder
< inside this other folder

< on the desktop...

and I pull them up as they’re needed.”

“Now ...
Don’t you want to
ask me anything else?”

Vasalisa looked

at the hands



floating in space.

She was dying to know all about them.

But before she could ask,
her little doll whispered
a characteristic
from her pocket,
warning Vasalisa
that too many questions
might get her into trouble.
“Oh, shhhhhush yourself!”
Vasalisa said to the doll.

“I can ask
whatever I feel like asking!”

Baba Yaga glared at her:

“I hope you’re not going to ask for
a raise!
Or for a different shift...
Or for weekends off...

Because if you do...
I’ll eat you up!

And what’s that you’re talking to in your pocket?
Personal correspondence?
On my time clock?
You listen to me little girlie:
If you go trying to organize those horses...
I’ll make a potluck of you!”

“Oh,It’s nothing...” answered Vasalisa,
“Just a little doll, a blessing from my Mother.”

So that’s how you’ve gotten all this work done!”

(Her eyebrows came together like a terrible black bird in flight.)

“I’ve had enough of you!
Here, take the fire...and here’s a skull to carry it in.”

The hag was all out of packing crates
and shopping bags
and zip disks

so the skull would have to do.