Monday, March 14, 2016

Elegy for the Hangman

Should we eulogize the hangman
per the quality of his knots?
The kindness seldom spoken of--
and more or less, forgot?

When the doomed stood, blanched
fearful and subdued, wary of the drop
he gave confidence of the length of rope,
the length that made a lop

of the neck, cracking it at once
and granting peace of mind;
he accepted sometimes gold or silver
to do the deed he for kindness chimed.

Or would it be unseemly
to give the hatchetman his due?
Though we exchanged knots for strokes
past when his time was through?

Or could we acknowledge he
deserves sympathy for the sympathy he gave
though the clients that he served
were served unto the grave?

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Clear and slow as sliding dew
the trap found the
back foot of some six-legged life
as it came
from this broken branch
and seemed so ultimately
clear nor slow,
not the bright beetle,
nor the amber flow.