The Bitch – Part I There are those who’re filled with malice, till it’s grown to be an evil. There are others, who are sainted, with whose kindness, who can cavil? But the common man is middling – not a devil or a saint. And I’ll say that I am common, till you tell me that I ‘aint.
I have met so many people, in my years upon this Earth, That they seem to blur together, as I’m readied for the dirt. But there are those, who stand out clearly, as I lie upon my bed. And I think I’ll have them with me, till I’m well and truly dead.
And some there are, whose presences, remembered, bring a smile, And others, who bring shudders, for their actions that were vile. And chief among the latter, is a figure I remember – And though I often wish it, that I still cannot dismember.
I have tried to clear that image, that is evil, from my mind, I have tried out that forgiveness, that in trials, we might find. And in failing, I have ventured then to cut it into pieces, And to burn the shredded fragments, as they did with Luther’s theses.
But for all my mental labors, I was greeted, at the end, By the selfsame evil visage. Not an eyelash could I bend Nor a single mole make vanish. I was seared, as with a brand! So I’ll tell you of this person, and then perhaps you’ll understand.
I had met her in the workplace, when I'd first begun to work And the chains of my enslavement hadn't started yet to irk. I was innocent of malice – and, despite the sin of Adam, Had been free of stain of evil, till I met up with this madam.
As I said, I’d joined the workforce, found a place where I could work. I was bright and I was ready, not inclined or trained to shirk. But the workers, they were restive – not because they weren’t rich, But in consequence of saddling, so they murmured, by a "bitch”.
I had learned there was a woman who had reigned there for a while. She would watch you like an eagle, and would rarely ever smile. But her look, when she was smiling, wasn’t pleasant. It would chill. For her smiling was a signal she was wishing someone ill.
And the workers had informed me: – she had risen up so fast That at first they thought it likely that her tenure wouldn’t last. But the things she lacked in graces weren’t what the job required. And her status, as a “mover”, she had ruthlessly acquired.
For she hustled and she jostled and she rode the others rough. And she always won her battles, but would never say, “Enough!” And they feared her tongue and temper, and the coldness in her eye, As they knew she wouldn’t hesitate to knife them with a lie.
And they said that she was Irish – but an Irish that was cold. For her hair was red and flaming, and her speech was often bold, But her eyes were calculating, and a pale and evil blue, And whenever you were near her, they were coldly watching you.
It’s the fate of those religions, that have ceased to be in favor, To be icons of what’s evil, in the phrases that we savor. It’s the fate of the non-humans, to be utilized for purses, From their carcasses refashioned – while their names are used as curses.
So the workers who had suffered, from that ogre in the office, From the cynical old veteran to the fresh, astounded novice, And were powerless to counter her, would either mutter, “Witch!” And if Christians, duly cross themselves – or softly utter, “Bitch!”
And so it was, with not a bit of angst and trepidation, That I viewed this dismal damsel, with her fearsome reputation. And I slyly tried to hide myself – and was anxious in my work, For I feared that I’d be noticed – or have errors that could irk.
But he told me – another worker, who was seasoned more than I – To be watchful, yes – but fearful, no. For we only once would die. And to spend our lives as cowards, was to spend our lives in shame. If we still would choose to do this, we'd have only selves to blame. So with words of his emboldened, I then straightened up my back, And found solace, even courage – that's a quality I lack. I no longer hid from eyesight, and I held my head up high, And I even dared to venture once to look her in her eye. 2014 March 8th, Sat. Brooklyn, New York