I tremble —
there is evil about,
specters and demons,
but I must remain resolute,
stand with the other magistrates and judges,
all men of property and esteem,
surely, we must be among the elect.
This affliction has spread through the region,
so many blackened with devils’ marks–
though their blood is red
(their master teaches them tricks).
Accused, tried, and sentenced for turning from our Lord,
crushed by rocks or hanged from a tree,
may their souls rest in peace,
and our sanctuary in this dark wilderness saved.
But at night I wonder–
what if we’re wrong?
Merril D. Smith is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in American History. Her poetry and stories have appeared recently in Vita Brevis, Streetlight Press, Ghost City, Twist in Time, Mojave Heart Review, Wellington Street Review, Blackbough Poetry, and Nightingale and Sparrow.