swimming the witch

feet and hands bound
with rope
I stand before
deep water
a liquid ghost
ripples of fear

should I pray
to sink
into this airless pit
slow swallow of death
proof of innocence

or let my skirt
fan into a float
in the grasp
of an angel’s hand
betrayal of breath
even for one moment
condemns me to fire
skin scalded red
peeled from bone
my body
a bright reflection

~ Mary Ann Mulhern

Mary Ann Mulhern’s collection When Angels Weep, was published by Black Moss Press (April 2008). When Angels Weep gives voice to survivors of pediophile Father Charles Sylvestre, who was convicted of forty-seven counts of sexual abuse against young girls over a forty-year period in the London Diocese, Ontario.

One Response to “swimming the witch”

  1. A beautiful poem with gentle but terrifying images. It moves us to the quiet era of hushed voices.

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