'In This Sad and Sodden Village': A Poem by Tricia Waller


Midway through this storm strangled night

and the hour smells just right.

For the masked and bitter biscuit moon

floats high in a fungal sky.

The filthy bible dog-eared and

smeared with blood and bile

lies open on the wicken work bench

and all around is the stringy stench

of death and deep despair for there

is little to give gratitude for

in this sad and sodden village

where forgotten souls dwell

on their pathway to hell.

But she of the ebony braid

be not afraid and so enters

In to care and share her potions,

her tinctures and her balms mixed

with love and charm; wormwood, ragwort,

wolfsbane and soapwort, lovage and borage

and bittercress but?

All is not well!

For they tell wicked

whispered tales

behind hands; stand in dark corners

like spies spreading their lies.

Call her wise-woman

when they mean witch.

Bitch with her incantations,

her rhymes and her spells,

her cat and her rat.

This is her turn – she must burn!

This bitch, this wicked, wicked witch!

Pile it high! Let her die!

Burn the witch!

But she has the heft and the might.

So on this bitter sweet night

she will stay and fight for her life.

Weave for them her spell of all spells.

Cleave and tear, swear and curse

and she kens who will come off the worst

in this sad and sodden village

where the now forgotten souls

finished their pathway to hell.


Tricia Waller has recently had poems published in Dreitch 5 Season 3. A story published in Flash Fiction North and a poem included in Margate Bookie's Reset Zine. Find her on Twitter: @TriciaJean44, and Instagram: lilyofaday.

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