The Wicked Witch by Rachel Burns

The Wicked Witch

Wasn’t a figment of my imagination
she was as real as the organ music

playing silently in the rafters of the church
where little white doves quivered like altar boys.

She dressed in black, hovered in dim lit corridors
and needled sins from lily white skin.

Hail, Mary Mother of Grace cried for us.
St Bernadette, let us feel the holes in the palms of her hands.

Our days were worse than saccharine coated nightmares.
Who could we tell? No one, not even the priest.

Children disappeared, the church bells pealed
drowning out screams that tasted of arsenic

and the little white doves, quivered like altar boys.
We prayed for their souls, we pray for them now.


Rachel Burns is a poet and playwright living in Durham City, England. Poems published in UK literary magazines. Shortlisted in competitions Mslexia, Writers’ & Artists Yearbook and The Keats- Shelley Poetry Prize 2017.

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