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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
An old woman with a ring presented to her by a king is burned at the stake, as a condemned witch.

Submitted: April 02, 2009

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Submitted: April 02, 2009




On a witch-dark bitter smoking night
With jeers like tortures round the moon
They piled the tinder to the skies,
Laughed that flames would dance so soon
Brilliant with sparkles and a shooting light
And howling calls and screeching cries -
Embarrassed silence of a neighbour's lies.

She stood there shackled with itchy warts
And a dew drop on her unwiped nose
And heard that neighbours' chanted rhyme
The acrid smoke from scorching clothes,
A steel ring which the sparkles caught,
A nothing jewel for this no-when time,
A monarch's gift or a pauper's crime

The nose-beaked man with a line for lips,
The curate with his sickening grin,
The shame of neighbours who had lied,
All took her, and in single file
Warned all the world about her sin
And how for that her Lord had died,
Lies that made their anger rise inside.

They bound her to the tinder stack,
They struck a flame and in its light,
"Beware the Satan's whore!" they cried
And lit their fire that worried night
And as it blazed they stood well back -
"I'm not a witch! I'm not!" she sighed.
And in the crackling heat she died. 

Next day they sorted through the ash,
The bone-burned powder and the stench
Until they found a little thing,
A remnant from the deceased wench,
No gem or coin of tarnished cash
But the meanest, poorest little ring,
A token from an ancient king.
Peter Rogerson 06.11.07

© Copyright 2018 Peter Rogerson. All rights reserved.

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