My poem about "The Scarlet Letter"

I've dabbled in many parts of the writing universe—including poetry! But I haven’t shared much of my poetry publicly … until now. I've decided it's time to open up a bit of my poetry to the world by sharing some of it here on my blog. 

*deep breath*

So, here’s a poem I wrote several years ago based on the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to read the synopsis here before diving into my poem below.) 

The Scarlet Letter Poem
by Laurel Dykema

A fair countenance
A trustworthy face
Melodious voice and 
Great Preacher of grace

Beneath this façade
a burning lie
that blisters and festers
all white-hot and dry

Hot tears splatter
upon his chest there
Reminding him of
The mark he should bear

That Hester should suffer
in public disgrace
Wore at his heart
As he preached, as he paced

The scaffold he knew
Was escape for his shame
Confessing his guilt
Would mean death to his name

As he mounted the steps
All short of breath
From his pounding heart
And his soon-coming death

His clear voice rang out
over the watching faces
His trembling lips conveyed his guilt
Just before his heart thumped its final paces

He smiled at me as his eyes closed in death
The sacrificial confession, like a lamb
Protecting him from my ultimate revenge
Yes, Chillingworth I am.


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