let’s call her Gretel or– you recognize a woman by her perfume

she keeps the last crumbs (dark bread)
in her Gucci bag,
wrapped in a silken hanky
next to Bvlgari’s Eau thé rouge,

(the woman in the Einstein house
in Berne wore it, not well though,
rather on the far end of
whatever you’d call gravity)

she sighs, forest sunk deep in both eyes
& cannelle-sprinkled latte in her hand,
fire scarred– looks at him,

“i find it hard to live with it, still–“,
“Dang” he snaPs “Her or us,
“we had no choice”

“– the scent” she shivers,
“charred flesh, can’t get rid of that”
pulls out the perfume bottle,

—-whiff—whiff—whifF

“redbush tea & pink pepper in it–“

(shoulders trembling)
“there’s no root  though–”

she leans back, a chestnut tree
throws gentle shades on cobbles, bathing
lazily in end of march sun,

“Hänsel, hear the birds? almost like– but

heck, yes, spring–
(she wipes her eyes)

is beautiful in Paris.“

.

Mary has us writing Modern Day Mythology at dVerse today. Take a fairy tale or another well known character and put them into a different setting/time/location, maybe tweak their character a bit…smiles..this is going to be a fun prompt.. looking forward to seeing you at 3EST and hope you’re enjoying the easter holidays

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52 responses to “let’s call her Gretel or– you recognize a woman by her perfume

  1. Oh, this was fun, Claudia. I love the details…..Gretel with the Gucci bag. The perfume. The charred flesh. Glad Gretel (and Hansel) now have a good life. They deserve it. And yes, it was her or them. Even though it was…….shhhhhh…..murder. But still…..

  2. Don’t have a Gucci bag … but still have crumbs of many kinds in my bag pack from my last trip … all kinds of memory crumbs … some to share and some to keep secret … good luck to Hansel and Gretel … Life goes on but for the witch. Love, cat.

  3. …i like the atmosphere in your poem Claudia especially t’wards the end… and hopefully no more dullness of past winter days… as always you descriptions are wonderfully delicious to fit the accompanying conversations… smiles…

  4. I was just getting into the fun of this when you threw me in the deep end.

    (the woman in the Einstein house
    in Berne wore it, not well though,
    rather on the far end of
    whatever you’d call gravity)

    Wow! An immersion to remember! I’m off now for another dip… or two.

  5. smiles…really cool interaction in this claudia….the fact that what they had to do weighs on her…the images so vivid in her head makes her character so very real…i will say the smell is very nasty…my time with the sheriffs office i had the opportunity to smell that…not much fun and will stick with you…you did really well giving her character too…ha…i like…

  6. The scent of death isn’t easily covered or shaken;
    yet, when life must be taken,
    then life must be taken.

    Of course, I cannot vouch for the Germans (yes, as my name indicates, I too am a Prussian). A great people brought down by the stench of the camps. Cannot cover over that with a little perfume. Or a little time.

    Great poem that must be read over and over again to be fully appreciated, Claudia. Every time you post I sit down beside you as if pondering a box of chocolates. And I eat every last one of them each time.

  7. I really like this. You brought characters to life, gave them a conscience and made them so human. The smell – that was a little creepy. It gives the story an eerie feel. I like the happy ending. It’s nice to find yourself in Paris.
    Hope you’re having a fun Easter weekend too.

  8. can’t get rid of that. Indeed. Sort of glad I don’t eat meat ;O. If you’ve got to wander the forest, do it with a Gucci bag….
    Manfred has a dog named Gretl. She smells very sweet.

  9. cool rendition, here. Little Gretel is Not so ‘Little.’
    the characterisation and imagery around her is so vividly shown. the small peccadillo-ish penumbra which surroundds Gretel’s character is given very well.
    Neat story.

  10. Oh imagine still holding on to the crumbs…or not leaving home without them…I found this chilling… I guess all good fairy tales are at their heart chilling…that memory…how many hold them… Just brilliant Claudia.

  11. Aromas are so connected to memories, and this gives me the impression that Gretel has an olfactory form of PTSD or OCD, but despite the trauma she seems to be doing well. Love your imagination…

  12. Wow, crumbs in a Gucci bag, the forest in their eyes, the charred flesh, “it was her or us”………….modern day fairy tales are even scarier than old fashioned ones. I love this response to a fun prompt.

  13. My father had 27 versions of this story, which children loved to hear, because they were never the same. NOW I HAVE #28!!! If he were alive I’d mail it to him, HA!

    I recall the crumbs wre their way to go back home, but birds ate the crumbs. and they were saved by the great White Swan–with a Gucci bag hanging around its neck

    Witch’s has NEVER seemed so real as in this writing, Claudia. What FUN you must have “conjuring” these treasures you give us every day.

  14. Spring is def’ly great in Paris! In fact not just spring but at any time at all. It was great in winter when we were there when I went on some official matters in 1973. I felt great and brought the family later in 1983 to see what I had seen. Thanks for the memories, Claudia!

    Hank

  15. Lovely stuff- but can’t imagine anything but can flow from your wonderful imagination.

    Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do and spray on the perfume to mask out the guilt…

    Anna :o]

  16. Have you seen the new HANSEL & GRETEL; WITCH KILLERS film yet? You had some real fun with this myth, and you shared the fun with us. Death of anything, plant or animal leaves the rot, and it will def churn & turn our delicate sensibilities. Nice feel to this update.

  17. can’t help but like a poem ending with spring in paris 😉

    interesting take, really liked “she sighs, forest sunk deep in both eyes”

    spring is sprung full blast, with a touch of summer here (too soon), so hope spring reaches ya’ll soon too claudia 😉

  18. Oh how well you retell this story…the addition of the sensory information is just brilliant as usual…I could see you reinterpreting a number of stories in your own book…now that would be a fun project.

    • “she keeps the last crumbs (dark bread)
      in her Gucci bag,
      wrapped in a silken hanky
      next to Bvlgari’s Eau thé rouge…

      I ❤ the way you, place Gretel & Hänsel from [the] Hänsel and Gretel Fairy-tale into another setting and location…Your poetic words are pure… magical.

      I ❤ the way you, place Gretel from Hänsel and Gretel Fairy-tale into another setting and location…Your poetic words are…

      magical. hear the birds? almost like– but
      heck, yes, spring–
      (she wipes her eyes)

      is beautiful in Paris.“

      merci,
      deedee 🙂

  19. Claudia, so clever!! I love this placement of Gretel in Paris, and the breadcrumbs (dark bread) in the silk hanky 🙂 Really, really love this–big smiles 🙂

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