If she hadn't used the hair straightener
or the color-coordinated lipstick and flannel jacket;
If she had acted scared,
had had tear stains and a meek look;
If she had seemed forgiving, humbling herself
and saying nothing:
Perhaps the Investigating Committee
would have halted the collectors of the kindling;
Then, the Orders shredded, the Governor
would have graciously extended his beringed hand--
In genteel acknowledgement of her error, and in
infinite compassion stopped her being tied to the stake.
Elizabeth R. Curry
Slippery Rock University
Copyright 1999, The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.
Reference Citation: Curry, Elizabeth. (1999). "Salem, Then and Also Now." WILLA, Volume 8, p. 17.