Walking side by side on same path,
She led me to believe we were at peace,
Keeping in step with one another
Until She turned and reached for me:
Hand outstretched, a polished fingernail
Transforming, as I watched, into a crooked claw
That drew a jagged line of blood down my cheek
Which flowed and flowed, and would not heal,
Bewitched by that same poison
That stole the light from her soulless eyes.
“Suffer and weep” she crowed, relishing my horror,
“Mourn and gnash your teeth.”
Raising my fingertips to my face,
Hoping to close the wound,
An arc of pain, like forked lightning,
Leapt from my cheek to my hand
As it, too, began to open up
From the tip of each finger,
Tearing down into my palm,
Splattering my clothes, my skin
And the earth where I stood, aghast,
With my own warm, sticky, crimson.
“I shall die!” I whispered.
Hatred coloured her words
Darker and deeper than sin:
“Not today. Not tomorrow.
First you must drown in blood and sorrow.”
“I bleed, and I bleed!” my cries rose,
Not in my own voice, but one of a wailing banshee
Or a ghost whose soul cries out for peace.
“Bleed and suffer hell on earth,
Agonise as your soul dies within,
May you suffer hell ever after
With the anguish this curse brings.”
Spellbound by wounds that would not heal,
My mind recoiled in a cacophony of thoughts
Each vying for position at the front of my mind,
Yet as I looked into the face of evil,
The only word that came to me,
Spilling from my blood-encrusted lips, was
©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam