Sheila-Na-Gig online


Shannon Connor Winward

Shannon Connor Winward is the author of The Year of the Witch (Sycorax Press, 2018) and Undoing Winter (Finishing Line Press, 2014, winner of the SFPA’s Elgin Award for best speculative chapbook). Her work blooms far and wide in word gardens such as The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Rivet, Analog, Lunch Ticket, Literary Mama, Pseudopod: Artemis Rising, the Minola and other Reviews and, most recently Deaf Poets Society, Skelos, and Twilight Worlds: a Best of NewMyths Anthology. She is the erstwhile recipient of eclectic honors including a Best of the Net nomination, runner-up in a Celtic ballad contest, and a fellowship in fiction for her home state of Delaware, USA. Shannon lives in the brokedown tower of her body in a blue room, where she sometimes edits Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.


the crone has no need of milkfat
more bird than mammal,
all the juicy bits of her
long since rendered

if she speaks to you
it won’t be to coo

her gifts are grit
and dust
and her love
the creaking bones,
the bark of dogs
and that of the crow—

a caw-caw-caphony

of listen!
or I told you so.

Don’t eat the whole bird, Vixen

no matter how much it hurts.
Sit with your empty.
Feel it reflux
from your soft center.
Let it gnaw
the unfinished
knots of your resolve.
Tuck it down. Wear
the coarse fringe
of your underfur
like a pain apron,
a callous corset.
Even in the season
of starvation, give
the kits first
their yawning need.