Tears in a Chamber of Echoes

The round faced peasant

Was paraded through town

As the elderman cried out for blood

“The witch is a tool of Satan,” he said

As he strapped a cold iron device

On their head

The mechanical device

Was called a scolds cap

With a cruel metal appendage

To hold down the tongue

Iron bars that encircle the head

To silence the voice

Of the town heretic

“We have found her guilty

Of calling herself them

She calls herself they/them

Because Satan is Legion

She is clearly under the influence

Of a powerful demon”

The Elderman’s fellows

Agreed, nodding sage

As they wrapped

The offending one’s

Tongue in a cage

He continued his charges

“The negress is fat!

She is greedy and lazy

And stole snacks out back

She paraded around

Like the belle of the ball

Called herself “they”

And wore men’s clothing

Through it all!

“She takes things from good men

And does not know her place”

He screamed as he strapped

The iron cage to thier face

“The negress cast spells!”

Said another in fright

And the men who had gathered

All became a pure white

Twas the whitest of whites

Color ran from their faces

T’was enchantment they feared

For the witch had some trick

That enchanted the town folks

But it made these men sick

“I have heard incantations

And make no mistake

She enchanted our children

And grew fat on their cake”

“Drag the fat wrench

Out to the town square

Place her in pillories,

Once you are there

Before reading charges

Sling mud in her face

So the townspeople see her

Cry tears in disgrace”

Though they had both wrists bound

The witch’s fingers were free

And wrote words in the air

The assembled could see

The elderman was astounded

The writing was on the wall for all to see

And some among the gathered crowd

Accused his lordship of villany

“Drat it!” One of the women said

“It is he and his scold cap I dread

I remember not long ago

When he placed that blasted

Rusty thing on my head

It is an ancient scold cap

And gave tetanus to one lass

Who the elderman sought to chasten

Because she did not properly care

For his jackass”

“Wait one moment,” said another

“Let us not make haste

The negress has been guilty of

Behaving like an ingrate

She has not thanked us adequately

For the freeing of her race

She should be happy that we let her in

And stop bringing more of her kind

In the place”

The elderman grimaced, and quickly agreed

Within moments his fellows

Returned to their screed

“She is clouding your judgment still

Though she’s in chains

Break her fingers now

That’s where her power remains”

~ by Sumiko Saulson on January 31, 2023.

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