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by Larry Connelly

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1692 Salem

By Larry Connelly, Navy

Writing Type: Poem

By Larry E. Connelly

VA Medical Center--Liberty Lake, WI

 

The morning fowl did not announce the coming of the day.

Milking buckets stayed empty; why, no one could say.

Muffled, through the open windows came haunting sounds;

Something chased away the dreams, like lathered hunting hounds.

These nightmares had no bugles; they had no marching drums.

She had started every day with a verse,

  or a long-remembered song.

Having done no hurt nor, to my knowledge, no wrong.

These times were called evil; dark souls were close about.

When the pious dammed poor Elisabeth, with devils’ work related,

Her staked demise brought a cold fog to the village,

  to which it was soon mated.

Worried lips and eyes spoke that she had never confessed.

Someone was needed to cleanse this troubled land;

A knight of Christ was chartered for the strength of his hand.

The Vicar cried out for relief, but the dark fog lingered on.

He came, large and proud, for how many dragons had he slain?

Roaring out a challenge and flashing high his sword in vain.

At the ashes, the villagers turned their heads as they passed.

From the fog came the sound of her crypt being opened.

Elisabeth’s voice called out through charred lips the names,

   until now unpenned.

Doors and windows were hurriedly closed and shuttered.

Having heard the charges that brought an innocent’s

   fire-bound death,

The knight then spoke. “If guilty you will each feel

   the dragon’s breath.”

The dark fog slowly settled around this house and that one.* 

 

*19 persons were executed in the Witchcraft trials

in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.


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