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The Widows Trial

The Widows Trial

The Widows Trial

She awoke at dawn
and recognized her thirst
but how to slake
that which kept awake
her constant misery, first
became the occupation
of mind.

The calls of the birds
the happy songs of
those eager to meet
the day with stars
in their eyes, danced
like pictures on her eyelids.

For her
there were no stars
no eagerness
to greet the day
on his bier he laid
with eternally frozen eyes
limbs once hot for her embrace
stiff now from the embrace of death.

Her shaven head
her black robes
her lidded eyes
her salty lips
in the mutual coffin
that was the boat.

In the wilds of the sea
As terror rode her heart.

Did they remember?
those that bound the living
to cold skeleton?
her dedication shown through
two score years and a half?

Will they remember
these ancestors who
now stalked her dreams
in terror-laden dances
that she also had
danced in the square
and moved his loins
to pay the cowries
for the dowry?

Seven nights
seven devils
several terrors
several sorrows
the seventh morning
from stench-filled stomach
and death -numbed heart
she emerged from the
darkness of her days
to the darkness of the ways
of her ignorant ancestors.

A vindication of love
she left the marital bier
as they stood on the pier
that her love had been true
the earth welcomed her groom
worms gave him their embrace.

T’is the custom, they say
to marry the widow in death
again to the man
she had loved for
two score years and half
she passed the widow’s trial
in flying colours of black
alone in her hut
the widow finally wept.

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