Northwords Now

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Killing Times

by Robin Munro

I walk the flowering merse
more or less the flow of the River Bladnoch
in our Killing Times

guessing where people stood:
Provost, Sheriff, soldiers, we
-the righteous and the feart -
down from the County Town, to watch
two tethered women choose:
acquiesce or slowly drown.

The tide would have risen, as predicted,
round the stake.  Sea into river.
And resistance.  Rising water.
And resistance. Final answer?

Take the oath I’d say
but then I’m centuries away from knowing
how the land lies in 1685.

The ‘Martyrs’ Stake’ today is high and dry.
The River changed its course.
Rivers are all about expediency.
Killing times have moved on.

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