This Fine Chair

This chair I sit
Hand by hand hewn
Rich cherry
Or maybe maple?
Straight back
Smooth veneer
Each curve -- elegant
Each joint -- perfect, snug
Each leg -- sensuous

These ropes around me
Strand by strand woven
Fine flax fibers
Or maybe hemp?
Firmly wrapped
Rough, coarse
Each knot -- tightened
Each arm -- restrained
Each leg -- tied, bound

Like swimming pools
Or on pirate ships
A long a sturdy plank
And on this plank
This chair is nailed
And on this chair
I'm roped and jailed
And with this rope
My fate's impaled

"In the name of the Father
Dunk the witch, the bastard!
In the name of our God
To Hell, this daemon's delivered!"

Mothers and fathers
Sisters and brothers
Neighbors and friends
High priests and lovers
Chanting, chanting,
"See if this daemon lives!"

If found innocent
-- drowned I die
If found evil
-- on the pyre I die
If found innocent
At least I'll have
This fine chair

©Breathe 1994

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