An Unrepentant Sorceress Before the Mexican Inquisition – a poem by Ray Ball

An Unrepentant Sorceress Before the Mexican Inquisition


the men of the cloth preached / proclaimed it was a terrible heresy for María / to cast enchantments to look upon the naked bodies of men / and know (them) / witnesses denounced her / conjuror of love and other magics / a single woman / the Dominicans were dogs / of the Lord and asked her if she knew / her invocations were sins for such divinations / were not divine / craft / she had (not) learned from a black woman / Marta the Indian mother had foretold / where her lost objects were / only  the spirits know if she found them / the inquisition records do (not) say / fearful friars ordered her to be punished / to be stripped / and whipped and shunned / nevertheless she blew the dirt away / a year passed María did (not) / learn the Creed she scorned / the sanctity of the Holy Office / churchmen decreed it / heretical depravity when they sent / her into perpetual exile / perhaps she took the Bishop’s missing / gold ring with her and found Marta on the way


Ray Ball, Ph.D., is a history professor, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, but now lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is the author of two history books and her verse has recently appeared in Cirque, Longleaf Review, and West Texas Literary Review.

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