Poem of the week : Abigail Says She’s A Witch

Abigail Says She’s A Witch

They are resurrecting the witch
pulling charred corpses from the pit
for reburial (and easy metaphor).

The oddballs. The freaks wearing
the devil’s mark, gather at the gate
hands held, carrying sage.

I am a witch
Abigail says (barring the way)
to them, to Tituba
rising out from our memory

(her finger pointing, her fist raised).

I am a witch
Abigail echoed in likes
in inch by column inch 

I am true
and they gather with

the troops for the ritual

In all this cutting down

new pyres.

In all this throwing of rocks

old fire.

In free speech thrown
the struck are 


(as they always were) 

in their
monster mask
hangman’s hood
cow bell, shackle

Abigail says she’s a witch
I am the hunted 

is handed pitchfork
tiki torch, the stage- her flowers.
Her applause, her encore.

Bravo! Bravo!

All hail the witch.
All hail, all hail the witch. 




Hannah Lavery is a poet, playwright, performer and director. Her work has been widely published and her highly acclaimed play, Lament for Sheku Bayoh, was part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Hannah has just been made Edinburgh’s new makar.

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