Friday, October 31, 2014

The Witch

Once again, I have a special Halloween poem to share with everybody!  It's kind of a murder ballad (not really a ballad, but whatever) with supernatural/necromancy themes, which is the sort of thing one expects from Halloween.  I believe it was the last poem I wrote in South Korea, so there's some history for you.

Enjoy the poem, enjoy the holiday, and remember: no racist or otherwise obnoxiously offensive costumes tonight, please.  If you've already bought/made one, just be a bed sheet ghost or something.

The Witch

Samantha is a widow in her nineties,
spoken for by spirits of the dead:
her husband, and the men who died before him,
lost along the path Samantha led.

The first to go was strangled in his garden:
vines and roots were strapped around his throat.
They slashed and drew the blood that formed the letters
scrawled upon the borders of his coat.

The second was a boy, no more than twenty,
drawn to her by rumors of her wealth -
a sacrificial knife with gilt inscriptions
pierced his belly in the night by stealth.

The third was older, lusting for her body,
frail hands like wax upon her waist.
The runes appeared in white, his skin had purpled
with the potion's toxic aftertaste.

The fourth commanded navies on the ocean,
but never lost his life or limbs in war.
Instead he drowned beneath a fleet of papers
and a bookcase shelved with witches' lore.

The fifth was mauled by dogs in early morning;
pups he'd raised, who dragged him 'round the yard.
They left his dying body in a circle
charged with glyphs that left the soil scarred.

And poor Samantha, helpless to relieve them
from the evil of her mother's curse!
She couldn't help but love the men she'd married:
living all alone, she judged, was worse.

Samantha's mother now is resurrected;
after seven decades in the grave
she holds her daughter's husbands all in bondage,
feasting on the spirits of her slaves.

The people reckon Sam to be a monster
luring men to death, a vile witch.
But few remain alive who saw her mother
weave the spell that destined her a lich.

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