written by: Ellie Ness
she looks the part –
children and parents encircle the spectacle
an incantation around a cauldron prop
as she weaves magic spells –
flame-flushed, she tells
blistering tales of long ago
sizzling women’s tribulations and trials
gathering healing herbs
inflamed rumours of bloody milk
hairy belt covens…smouldering devilry
incendiary accusations –
snap us back to the present
shouldn’t we be incandescent?
monstering of women
allowed petty grudges to
simmer and spoil, ruining lives
while ghoulish spectres pointed
on the periphery of the spectacle
and the stake crackled and spat into the dark
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Witch trials in Ayrshire do not stand up to scrutiny when examined through a modern lens. False accusations to get rid of problematic women is a common theme.
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