It was intoxicating, heady, wild

to drink forbidden liquor from the bowl

that led us unsuspecting, yes, beguiled

to lend the brazen god our very soul.

With placards as our thyrses lifted high,

we clambered up the hill reciting chants,

feverish with need to falsify

the pestilential truths that threaten dance.

Euphoric in our frenzied shibboleths,

our malice, fear and churlishness unmasked,

we taunted and defied the looming deaths

whose meaning we, as one, refused to grasp.

Now winter’s come, his power had to fade.

And we, unblinded, see the masquerade.


Mary Hills Kuck

Having retired from teaching English and Communications, first in the US and for many years in Jamaica, Mary Hills Kuck now lives with her family in Massachusetts. She has received a Pushcart Prize Nomination and her poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, SIMUL: Lutheran Voices in Poetry, Caduceus, The Jamaica Observer Bookends, Fire Stick: A Collection of New & Established Caribbean Poets, the Aurorean, Tipton Poetry Journal, Slant, Main St. Rag, Burningword Literary Journal, and others. Her chapbook, Intermittent Sacraments, will be published by Finishing Line Press in June, 2021.

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