(Besides participating in the 2013 Blogging A to Z April Challenge (see post below), I'm also participating in National Poetry Writing Month. In NaPoWriMo, I'm write a poem a day for the whole month. Here is the poem for the ninth day.)
When she threw herself in the pit
to escape our murderous grasp,
we knew the witch would fall and die,
splattered on the black bones below.
We rushed eagerly to the edge
to revel in the bloody scene.
We thought her insidious voice
would be silenced permanently.
Instead she rose out of the dark,
her arms outstretched, her voice singing
praises to an ancient goddess
as we fled and bolted our doors.
We had thrown many bold women
into the pit and let them rot.
None were witches we all now know;
a few of us knew that before.
Stoughton said we must keep order,
sometimes the innocents must die,
and no one is without some sins.
We listened to his pious lies.
She walked too proudly while in town.
She did not give way when men spoke.
She knew her mind and went her own way.
So we sent her to fall and die.
But then we huddled in our homes
while above us the witch soared
through the golden sky, rejoicing
in freedom we will never feel.
Before she vanished in the clouds,
her voice rang out. “I leave you in
the tiny prison you have made
of life. That is my blackest curse!”
It has been more than two centuries.
Time trickles slowly for us now.
No one is born. no one can leave.
No visitors ever come here.
We see the same faces each day.
We work the same chores each day.
We mouth the same words each day.
Just our eyes show our empty souls.
We finally understand her curse:
to be exactly – and only –
what we are. The truth is: we fell
in a pit and we cannot die.
(Copyright 2013 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. No copying without prior permission. Thank you for reading.)