The root queen knows your secret hopes.
The root queen knows your heart
The root queen’s crown is thorn and branch;
her garden, silver bones,
where acorn-seeds dream of oak-leaves,
and shadows speak of bright.

Have you seen the root queen there,
combing winter from her hair?
O winter! Full of starry airs, and ice-dark nights,
and bright-gray days.
Winter, full of riddling ways, circles of stones,
and frost-limned leaves; through winter
love is evergreen —

And if you spy the root queen there,
winter dripping from her hair?

The root queen’s heart is secrets kept.
The root queen’s heart is warmth.
The root queen’s crown is horn and bough;
her garden, blood and snow,
where foxes burrow down and deep,
and mice speak of the owl.

Have you dared the root queen’s eyes,
and found the hearth inside the ice?
O hearth! Rest there your tired feet, your wind-raw hands,
your hungry heart.
Hearthside watch the embers spark, bright candles carved
to look like men; through winter,
tales begin again —

And if you dare the root queen’s eyes,
and find the fire inside the ice?

The root queen knows your story’s end;
The root queen knows its start.
The root queen’s crown is branch and bone;
she’ll charm away your hope —
where beech seeds dream of tall beech trees
and shadows, touching light.

Will you go to the root queen’s court,
leaf and branch, bone and dark?
Then will you stay for love of her,
O seed and sleep, frost and fir;
The root queen knows your secret name;
she’s told this story again, again —

Again this winter, you will stray.
O, you will stray for love of her.
Perhaps she’ll carve you into wax;
perhaps you’ll melt into her hands.
When you see her standing there
combing winter from her hair —

The root queen knows all stories end
through winter and begin again.

Model: Vlasta Gerhardova
Crown: Magaela Accessories

See more of Michaela Durisova’s photography work on Instagram @michaela.durisova (many featuring her mother @gerhardova) and peruse her handmade accessories @magaela_accessories.

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