The Outcast

So the elders felt they had finally done a good job and had rid the village of the girl and her sins. They did not feel pride at what they had done. But they did feel satisfaction. Relief. It was necessary.

It worried them how she wandered through their streets bare foot. They did not like it when she lay in their fields, looking up to the sky. When she sat cross legged and made daisy chains that she would wrap around herself. When she skipped through the gardens picking dandelion puffs which she would close her eyes and blow. Spreading seeds of weeds everywhere.

Some of the villagers had taken a curiosity in her. They would bring her tea and biscuits and sit with her. She would bind them with her daisy chains. The elders believed she had entranced them. Sometimes she liked the kindness in their eyes. Sometimes she reached to touch them. Sometimes she wanted them to touch her. It made her feel less alone.

There were of course visitors with bad intentions. They would trick her. It hurt. There were visitors with good intentions but who could not stay. They hurt her more.

The Elders did not realise, she was more scared of the people than they were of her.
She wanted them to seek her, but she feared what they could do to her.

One day after she had spent a whole day wailing at the sky. For an answer that was never going to come. The elders could take no more. They would banish her for good this time.

There was one elder who had been bewitched by her once. She always responded to his warmth. He would lure her to the forest. The others would wait there.

She seemed willing as she took his hand curiously and followed. The man was nervous. Was he safe? But of course it was she who he was leading to danger.

The forest was dark but the elders stood in a circle holding candles. At first she was transfixed by the pretty lights. It was only when she was pushed to the floor by the wife of the man who had led her there that she realised she should be afraid.

They glared at her lying in the middle of the circle. She felt their eyes, penetrating her soul.

Stand. The eldest commanded. She rose before them.

In turn they each told her what was wrong with her. As they did they would spit at her feet and cut away a piece of her clothing.

She sobbed. She fell to her knees. She pleaded. But they continued. When she could stand no more, they took a rope and tied her upright to a tree.

One piece of fabric remained, covering her last dignity.

The men surrounded as it was torn from her.
The women watched, as one by one the men clawed at her skin, no part of her body untouched. Until she would never again seek comfort in the touch of man. Until she would cry out in fear when she yearned again for closeness.

When it was over, they released her rope.
She fell to the floor.

Leave us alone. Commanded the eldest. There is nothing here for you.

She was too weak to move right then.

But the elders knew they had done a good enough job. They left her there and did not speak again of that night.

Some say she is still in the forest, but that now she only cries at the moon instead of by day.


  • Andrew Charles Forrest

    ...and she feeds him tea and oranges that come all the way from China...

    Powerful Sylvia dark and pwerful Great write

    • sylviasearcher

      Yes, perhaps it should have come with a warning.

      I love that song too, I thought it was almost a contrast, of hopefulness, set against the dark truth of life.

      • Andrew Charles Forrest

        Leobard has guided me through many a storm I adnired his honesty I wrote hime an elegy here on MPC not long after he passed away... I miss him...
        He would have liked THE OUTCAST and it's honesty hopefully of past days but sadly probablt not in some parts

      • 1 more comment

      • Neville

        I have this incredible feeling of deja vu ..... it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.. I think I know where it is coming from, but just can't be certain... there is an uneasy certainty here.... certainly well writ and my fave artist listened to twice while working my way down the page... what more could a fan want..... Neville

        • sylviasearcher

          I wonder did it read differently with your favourite artist in the background?
          Did it change the feelings or the meaning?

          It just felt appropriate to the colour of my day to post it out today.

          • Neville

            hard to tell whether Mr. LN Cohen influenced my feelings.. probably not... am glad you posted tho.. no, it did not change the meaning for me.. and I still enjoyed my tea and oranges...

          • 4 more comments

          • Fay Slimm

            A powerful message in this tragic account Sylvia - told with fervour it makes unforgettable reading.

            • sylviasearcher

              Thanks for reading Fay and hope it was not too dark and disturbing.

            • Michael Edwards

              Having read this once I feel it deserves another read to fully appreciate it - I will return.

              • sylviasearcher

                Oh I was worried it may be a little too dark...

                • Michael Edwards

                  Not in the least but a lengthy piece which deserves a thorough read rather than my first quick scan.

                • sylviasearcher

                  You are definitely not pathetic. I certainly didn’t mean that.

                  It’s just this one is about disillusionment. If it could be otherwise, I’d rather it I’m sure.

                  Maybe Tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow ⭐️

                • laurenroe

                  This is very powerful. Wonderful read


                  • sylviasearcher

                    Thank you Laurenroe, I was worried it may be too dark for people to enjoy.

                    Thanks for your kind comment.

                  To be able to comment and rate this poem, you must be registered. Register here or if you are already registered, login here.