Sonnet for the Aglæcwif

Classic mum-in-law she was, Ma Grendl:

mood scorpio, wirehaired, snagged in the trap

of always having been a loving much-

beloved mum, no more—suddenly stuck


on the wrong side of the story: Beast.

Creeping through Hero’s brackish fits & tweets,

she’s damp of neck, bent of knee, tarsals

swollen thick as trees. The They all cheered


when bold boy knight raised golden mead

in the mouldering hall:  Death to the green-

clawed she-fiend, brine wolf, long of tooth

ragged hag, may she fall!  Defeat—


she who by her own kind, in her own time,

was called mama, milady, ma’am. Goddamn.


(Editors’ Note: “Sonnet for the Aglæcwif” is read by Joy Piedmont on  the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, 41A.)


Minal Hajratwala

Minal Hajratwala is the founder of the Unicorn Authors Club, a magical sanctuary where authors of color (and allies who really mean it!) finish our gorgeous, urgently needed books. Her books include the award-winning nonfiction epic Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents; a poetry collection, Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment; a travel guidebook, Moon Fiji; and a groundbreaking anthology, Out! Stories from the New Queer India.

Photo credit: Sequoia Ziff

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