Folktober Challenge, Day 4

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

All three images

The Witch

if beautiful, they drive men to danger
and sin,
if cantankerous or quarrelsome
they’ve let the devil in,

healers sought to make a charm for love,
to ease life’s pain, and guide a baby to its birth,
but vilified when the baby cries or livestock dies—
or ships crash on the rocks–

you’re afraid of her monthly flow
her connection to the moon,
her life-giving womb

somehow, she’s both powerful and weak,
controlling weather, fields, and men,
whether temptress or hag,

there’s no logic,
only your greed, lust, and fear
she’s siren or witch
and she makes you twitch
when you examine her body for devil’s marks.

But she has the last laugh,
because death doesn’t end your fear,
you drive a stake through her heart,
and still, she haunts you in the dark.

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore…

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