Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Salem Pilgrimage

by Breda Wall Ryan

The dead shiver and fall,
drift against clapboard houses,
innocent as flames.

In the bars, early revellers
order spirit cocktails
or chug Sam Adams Ale.

There’s a show of hands
for free entertainment:
folk rock or jazz in the park

where hyped-up schoolchildren
disguised as one-night witches
divvy their candy swag.

I have crossed a threshold
where the words of the voiceless
are cut off  by a granite wall,

into a horseshoe
of floating tombstones
to remember hanged

Bridget Bishop
whose given name I share,
hear a witchlet declare

old Giles Corey
pressed to death is ‘way cool!’
I shut my ears against a riot

of Halloween celebration,
seek quiet where the dead
stir among black locust trees

and know we should have come
in a February blizzard,
not on this Samhain eve.

2 comments:

  1. Favorite line:disguised as one-night witches
    divvy their candy swag.

    Nice imagery:into a horseshoe
    of floating tombstones
    to remember hanged

    Powerful: know we should have come in a February Blizzard.
    Obiously came wrong place wrong time.
    Do you have a fondness for writing about witches and the Salem Period.



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  2. My visit to Salem fell at Halloween because I was visiting family in Boston at that time. While the memorial to the women and man condemned as witches is respectful and thought-provoking, the modern Halloween celebrations seemed disrespectfully out of place and made me sad. Thank you for your encouraging and thoughtful comments on my poem. Much appreciated. Regards, Breda

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