Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Witch's Grave

Rating: 4.8
In a little town
Down a lonely back road
There sits a small cemetery
From outside the gates
It seems nothing special
Just an ordinary graveyard
Some tombstones recently placed
Sturdy with their glossy sheen and
Deeply carved lettering
Others just thin slabs
Of gray slate
Writing barely legible
And seeming as if the waft of
A slight breeze could topple
Them at anytime

In the center of this small
Country graveyard
Rise two tall pines
Spaced a few feet apart and
Enclosed by overgrown bushes
But herein is where its
Secret treasure lies

Through all the bramble and
Between these two pine trees
Unbeknownst to so many
Rests 'The Witch's Grave'

Her headstone is one of those
Very thin slabs of gray
Inscribed with a lengthy epitaph
Which unfortunately can
No longer be read
A few feet away
Facing the headstone
Sits a smaller tombstone
This I've learned is what was
Once known as the footstone
An old custom done away with
Many years ago

The tale has it that this is
The final resting place of
The only woman to ever be accused of
Being a practicing witch in
This small country town

As I stand in this dense thicket
Hidden from view to all
I ponder upon the life of
This lost soul
The ordeal she must have endured
Being shunned by a whole community
I wonder
What if she were innocent?
And I think how very sad that
After spending her whole adulthood
Being ostricized
A pariah to a town of ignorants
That even in death
This poor woman still
Remains hidden
Still an outcast
Though centuries have passed

A tear glides down as
I lay a bright red rose
At the base of her headstone
A splash of color and
A token of solidarity
In her dull and unkempt world

I step out of this copse of gloom
And smile as I emerge back
Into the sunlight of
Today's more forgiving times.
Colleen Courtney
Topic(s) of this poem: hope
True story. Real cemetery. Real grave. Real me.
Richard Wlodarski 09 March 2017
I can't help but admire and respect a poetess who brilliantly displays empathy in such well written verse. Congrats on such a masterful piece.
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Bri Edwards 01 December 2016
i recognized it soon after beginning to read it. i kept reading and enjoyed it once again. bri :) to MyPoemList
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Savita Tyagi 27 February 2015
Great poem told beautifully. Sadly in every era people are ostracized because their belief are not at par with society. Even their way of life or their skills are looked down too.
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Aftab Alam Khursheed 27 February 2015
Witch's are very brave that's why -The Witch's Grave nice poem
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Brian Stafford 27 February 2015
charming yet unfortunate tale, congrats on poem of the day!
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Kim Barney 27 February 2015
Beautifully told. I have seen many graves that had headstones no longer readable and wondered about the people lying there six feet below. Who were they? What kind of life did they have? Do they have relatives around here today? I'm voting your poem a ten. Congrats for Poem of the Day!
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Richard Blay 21 February 2015
nice story, but I bet to differ, today is not the forgiving times. We're worse than those before us centuries ago just that we know how to cover our hatred with hypocrisy. I feel sorry for the woman, she might be innocent as you wrote. good narrative, Colleen.
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Words' Knight 26 August 2014
Just awesome. I love your style.
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Amitava Sur 30 July 2014
I liked your lovely story telling which is elaborated in a very lovely detailing about an unfortunate lady... loved it
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Macharia Kanyari 24 July 2014
Wonderful story telling. Awesome twist to capture this tragedy that is our lives
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