Die with it in you, were the words he cried
and so I bent voiceless to that noose,
tighter round my neck than ever my tongue was tied,
keeping secret what other women loosed.
The words they say I sang were never mine.
If I could not tell why I swung that axe,
how could they let me sing a song so fine,
such pretty verse, strung sweet by a hack?
What words could I own, or others know
to speak of the pieces of him they found,
scattered over acres, hidden in holes
I dug shallow, in hard-frozen ground?
I carried those secrets of love, death and birth–
the blood of them heavier than iron
with me into air, and freed into earth,
which takes everything, and learns
All we know and do not speak, my naked
bones not caring what eats fossilized pain
or reads out loud the voice of it,
scribed in the center of old bone.
Based (loosely) on the story of Frankie Silver
This is (kinda) a ballad, poking fun at another ballad. I stuck true (sort of) to the form, until I broke out of it in the last stanza.