Saraya- A Stoning, 1986

my husband accuses me
of adultery
I have one hour to prepare
Aunt Marra weeps
as she fastens my wedding dress
slender fit of fidelity
they lead me to a pit
bury me to the waist

under God’s law
my husband has the right
to first blood
he takes an eye
the other men watch
their fists clench rocks
rounded from mean seasons
of the river-bed
smooth as bullets
in a sniper’s belt
aim and fire, aim and fire
this must last
until the sun bleeds
into the set of sand

~ Mary Ann Mulhern

Mary Ann Mulhern is a Windsor teacher and poet. The Red Dress, published by Black Moss Press, received national attention in a CBC interview on Tapestry. Touch the Dead, also published by Black Moss, was short-listed for the Acorn- Plantos award in 2007. When Angels Weep, published in 2008, was launched at the University of Windsor and short-listed for the Acorn-Plantos award in 2009. Mulhern’s new book, Sleeping with Satan, brings the Salem Witch-hunt into contemporary focus. Sleeping with Satan is published by Black Moss Press.

Read more of Mary Ann Mulhern’s poetry:
witness in the dark
swimming the witch

One Response to “Saraya- A Stoning, 1986”

  1. The innocence of Saraya is evident in the line, ” the slender fit of fidelity” which is in sharp and bitter contrast to “my husband has the right / to first blood.” Mary Ann’s poem is objective and bursts with vivid images which render the heart breaking reality of how women are treated and judged in many countries.

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