I was a witch the day I succumbed to the fire.
The woman--a traitor, I thought at the time--tricked me into boarding the mysterious carriage;
I had only seen them from afar, those with the red, white, and blue lanterns.
Even though the lanterns were doused to maintain secrecy,
An enemy surely must have cursed me because
Demons of fear and regret gnarled and hissed within the depths of my stomach
And my mind knew no rest.
My lynching was to be held in a dismal place,
Composed of beige barren walls and men in distinguished white vestments,
Preaching that they could “cure me.”
They stripped me of my gown and items,
Rewarding me a measly robe and bracelet to identify my whereabouts--
Escape was no longer an option.
The first night was the worst.
I layed in constant torment beside my sleeping roommate,
Thoughts whisping around in my head as I grasped my pillow like it was my wand.
Muttering feeble spells of protection,
I did nothing as the bellows and crazed shouts from outside my room were overpowered
by the voices in my head.
She’s going to strangle you in your sleep Run Run Run Kill her before she gets to you.
My pillows was a fountain for my tears as I forced myself to sleep.
I prayed to the earth that my quivering did not awake the slumbering beast.
I was a freshly mutinied queen those ten days I was away from my throne.
The men in their fancy robes liked to believe themselves superior.
They preached at me all day,
“Communicate with others, attend each session, eat your entire meal.”
I have ruled over my palace for over nineteen years,
Who are they to tell me now that I am inept?
All of my mannerisms at court,
All of my teachings on regality,
Surely they would not fail me among the commoners?
Oh, poor, foolish me.
If only I knew that such practices did not work among these like.
My sumptuous words fell on ears clogged by mundanity, and I was forced,
Forced to state directly how I feel, how my supposed illness was going.
No queen should be ruled by the masses, yet there I was,
Powerless to defend myself as I swallowed their encapsulated poison.
Yet, on a peculiar note, I did notice a change.
My overall disposition improved
And the voices that ruled me day in and day out were...silenced.
For the first time in my life, I doubted my course as queen.
Afterall, I had followed their advice for years and it made me strong,
Made me survive the possible traitors longing to assassinate me,
Who would I be without them?
I was normal the day I left the mental hospital.
“Schizoaffective disorder” was my fresh label as I strode out the doors,
Medication in hand and a forgotten action pulling at my facial muscles:
I could not remember the last time it had been genuine.
The witch inside me had burned.
The queen inside me finally met the end of a treasonous arrow.
Yet I had never felt more free.
Still, when I hear the tender calls of the voices,
The comforting embrace of the paranoia,
I recall my time in the hospital, smile, and remember:
I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive.