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Garner, Kathryn’ Welshwoman, Found Innocent of Witch Craft in Trial by Water. 2 Pounds For Burial In Christian Ground

By Carol J Forrester

The so-called men of God gave her over to the Severn first.
Stood her shivering on a pebble shore,
weighted with accusations.

Reminded her in English,
only the devil could save her from the waters,
and if he did, she would be for the fire, or the noose.

Rowed out a way to throw her in,
watched stones sink her down to silt,
counted the boiling bubbles till they stopped.

Stilled and silent, they pronounced her innocent of all charge.
Husband handed enough coin to put her out of sight,
side by side with the other ‘women not witches’.

Added her to the records,
listed name, verdict, cost to the crown,
let the river take the rest.

Carol J Forrester is a poet living and working in Crewe. Her debut collection ‘It’s All In The Blood’ came out at the end of 2019, and she’s had individual poems published by ‘Ink, Sweat & Tears’, ‘The Daily Drunk’ and ‘The Drabble’. Her website is home to more than 600 poems. 


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