Sunday 11 June 2023


by Nick Gisburne

Accused, they strip and beat her as a witch,
A creature to be killed, consigned to flame.
Her deeply discontented spouse, the snitch,
Expresses no remorse to see her shame.
Excruciating torment at the stake,
Demanded by a bawdy, raucous crowd,
Is imminent. The questions, quick, opaque,
Are rattled out, her answers playful, proud.
The spectacle extends beyond the night,
An ugly, grim, gratuitous ordeal.
At sunrise she is gladdened by the sight:
Inquisitors, impaled on stakes of steel.
    Alone, afraid, her pale accuser moans.
    She calls her craft, to cleave and crack his bones.