Dónall Dempsey

Veteran Poet - 1,546 Points (15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

The Devil’s Teat - Poem by Dónall Dempsey

He straps her
to the table

before him

(a sacrifice on an altar)

of the Arrogance
of his Ignorance.

Turns to the tools
of his trade

neatly & almost
piously arranged

on the table
behind him

still stained
with the chicken’s blood

from this morning’s
preparation

bubbling in the pot
... forgotten now.

He is a master
Pricker

as they call him
about here

half in awe & fear

of the Witchfinder General
and all his kind.


He is angry
at her resistance

tears off
the ragged burlap shift

that covers her

shaves her

from head to pudenda

examines
her

from top
to toe

with the aid of
a giant magnifying glass

for any blemish
or birth mark

(an oddly shaped wart)

that will betray her
in all its innocence

pricking her both
with the long needle
and the short

and ahhh...

the birthmark
refuses to bleed.

He smiles
at such

an obvious sign.

Her denials
screaming uselessly

against the locked
door of his mind.

but now his fingers
probe

sensitively searching
for the Devil’s Nipple

concealed
within her

to nourish
to suckle

her
toad familiar.

And yes how proud he feels

to discover
hidden within her

privy
shaft

obscured by her
female organ

but not to the
empirical mechanics

of his fingers
probing...probing

as plain as the sun
that goes around

this Godly Earth

...the Devil’s Teat.

And so, by this
fleshly

mark of
being

Woman

she is
condemned to be
witch.

And so it is
so

in these
“the burning years.”

I cry for her
as I reclaim her

from History

(so many thousands
of her)

hold them
all

(in their holy terror)

all such suffering
beings

in my arms
in the dawn

of this new
morning

keening
for them

stroking their hair
(closing their eyes)

as tenderly
as if

they were my child.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 9, 2008



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