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How Many Witches Did Salem Hang?

By Caren Schofield

I remember Bruno only when he was big as a horse
to me and we tried to ride him but he'd sit every time
we mounted. He had no imagination for Silver with

baling twine reins. But he could "shake" and sometimes
I'd lift both paws and make him dance with me.
One morning he brought to our driveway a black

cow tail, the bulbous joint still bloody. One end
a frayed arrow of hair, the other a smooth white
ball streaked with red and black and smelling of sweet

relish. My father wouldn't touch it. When the severed
goat hoof showed up he took Bruno to the pound.

This summer Ron Parkins down the road was 
wakened with three of his horses crowding the pasture
gate. The fourth lay in a corner, legs straight and cold,

its head hacked off, ripped more than sliced.
Headlines named a satanic cult of scarred teenagers
who meet under a concrete bridge at midnight.

But there were no arrests. The head never showed.
I wondered whose yard the bloody head would greet 
some morning stuck on a stake. Its eyes still wide

against its murderer, shredded skin hanging
in daylight, drooling rust down wood.