The Philosophy of Pitchforks

In the dark pit of hell,
I imagine that the pitchfork
comes in pretty handy
to hurl the evil ones

into their pitch-black places,
hurls, flings, and tosses
them down as a part of
their permanent torment there.

And as I imagine how those
sharp prongs of the pitchfork
sort and pierce, I can
almost hear the agony

of the bodies in pain, their
tongues uncurling in those
sounds of grief that rise
up to my ears like flames.

And I can imagine how
that busy pitchfork there must
feel, just doing the job
that the Devil and destiny

created for it, as it enforces
the laws of punishment,
and must remain pitiless,
because it has the dark heart

or, of course, is heartless.
Isn’t that the point here,
the plan for justice, that the
pitchfork play its part well?

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press from The Devil's Cookbook by Sue Owen. Copyright © 2007 by Sue Owen.