What a sham! Poo on you!
You shall not still my tongue,
nor shall you have me.
Cash? Mere bribery.
You’ve noticed but my shapely form
and never asked my name.
My name is Ava. Tar it not.
You shall not name me a witch, sir.
I am a woman of substance.
And you sir, are but a juggernaut,
steamrolling your way
into petticoats of young girls.
Threatening them like Tituba,
dare they not succomb.
Poor Tituba, incarcerated,
questioned these many days.
I have talked with them all, sir.
No longer will they remain silent.
No longer are they your mollified band.
Ana and Sarah, Elizabeth,
Susannah, and Rebecca as well.
In church on the morrow, sir
they will bare their legs, thigh high.
Exhibit their bruises and mottled skin,
then point their fingers at you.
You are the witch sir.
May you burn in hell.
Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.
Today, Punam is hosting from India, where she’s been celebrating Diwali. She introduces us to a number of words from Indian languages that have become a part of the English language. For example, bandana comes from ‘bandhana’ which means to tie as well as ‘bandhej’ which is the art of tie-dye technique used on fabrics in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Punam provides us with 15 such words and asks us to include 4 in our poem. I’ve used 5: shampoo, cashmere, avatar, juggernaut, and bandana. See if you can find them all!
The poem obviously refers to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, and Rebecca Nurse were all convicted and hung.
You’ll find the photo here in an article written about Salem’s history. It’s the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin (1640 – 1718) and is the only structure you can visit in Salem today with direct ties to the Witch Trials. By the way, Salem is literally overrun with tourists this time of year! Living in Boston, we are but a 30 minute commuter rail trip away. We visit Salem in the summer for fun….don’t go near it in October!