Funny, How Ironic It Is- an original poem

"The Examination of a Witch" by Thompkins H. Matteson
“The Examination of a Witch” by Thompkins H. Matteson

Funny, how ironic it is
that a fire can start at the
flick of a switch
at the snap of a spark
at the twitch of a twig

And that blaze-
how it burns with a lusting flame
how the fire consumes
oh, watch it rage

Odd, how it takes but
one pesky rumor
one curdling lie
one itching trick
to instigate a craze

Once born it rips through life
like a merciless flame
that swallows up innocents
and spits them out chafed
an anger
a fervor
a blind, spinning plate
that grows in a flash
and dies in a gaze

Funny, how ironic it is
that restless school girls
have the power to start
a war of the gods
a fight of the faith
a panic of fools

Funny, how irony has the power to kill

I wrote this abstract free-verse two years ago for an assignment on The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The play is set in 1692, Salem, Massachusetts, and is about the witch hunts (which, according to Miller, were instigated by the carelessness of a few schoolgirls).  Much like a fire can start from a measly spark, a panic can erupt with just one lie or trick. Though it’s been a while since I’ve read it, I recommend reading (or even seeing) the play to anyone.

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