Last Words of a Witch

Petrified,
I stand,
Before this world,
But you are gone.

Perjurious,
Your words,
Your sanctimonious talk,
Now I’m all alone.

Perfidious,
My self,
My flesh, filthy, depraved,
Is what it is called.

Pernicious
Their stares,
Who once worshiped me,
Why now am I scorned?

Penurious,
Your love,
Yet I gave it my all,
Am I the only one at fault?

Punctilious,
You were,
When you stayed mum,
But bared every inch of my flaws.

Pained,
I stood, I wept, I pled,
Lost my pride, victimized,
By your salacious jaunt.

Played
I was, from start to end,
Now you wash your hands clean,
And play the monk.

Prone,
Before my condemners,
I lay branded,
A witch, Satan’s own spawn.

Pray,
Grant me an end,
From this melancholy life,
I’m done, I’m done.

Burn my flesh down,
To your hallowed ground,
To the ashes,
Let me return.

Arise I shall,
As sure as the sun,
I’ll h(a)unt you all down,
One. By. One.

 


 

This poem was inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. It’s one book that left a deep impact on me in terms of how unfairly women were treated back in those days, even in a seemingly ‘modern’ society like the United States of the 17th Century.

For those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s about a woman, Hester Prynne, who has a forbidden relationship with a Church Minister, and bears him a child. The village brands her an adulteress and requires that she wear a red (scarlet) colored ‘A‘ , standing for adulteress, forever on her person. She is condemned to a life of misery and poverty, shunned by the whole village, she leads a very lonely existence, and gives birth to a girl-child, Pearl, in a cottage. Years later, racked with guilt, the Minister does confess his guilt before the village people, and dies. But that doesn’t much change how Prynne leads her life, till the very end.

The repetitive use of the alphabet ‘P’ is a tribute to Prynne and her daughter Pearl too.

This piece has also been inspired by, and dedicated to, all those women who were burnt at the stake, after being wrongly branded ‘witch‘.

Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.

All rights reserved.

Image credits: Witches by Erica Jong on ebay.com

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