Ava Leavell Haymon is the author of Eldest Daughter (Louisiana State University Press, 2013).
The Witch Has Told You a Story
You are food. You are here for me to eat. Fatten up, and I will like you better. Your brother will be first, you must wait your turn. Feed him yourself, you will learn to do it. You will take him eggs with yellow sauce, muffins torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats late in the morning, and always sweets in a sticky parade from the kitchen. His vigilance, an ice pick of hunger pricking his insides, will melt in the unctuous cream fillings. He will forget. He will thank you for it. His little finger stuck every day through cracks in the bars will grow sleek and round, his hollow face swell like the moon. He will stop dreaming about fear in the woods without food. He will lean toward the maw of the oven as it opens every afternoon, sighing better and better smells.
From Why the House is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon. Copyright © 2010 by Ava Leavell Haymon. Used by permission of Louisiana State University Press.