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Death in the Afternoon

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Death in the Afternoon

Outward swing saloon doors,
Hanging heavy in the midday sun
Where but fools or legends walk
Burnt and scarred,
World weary

The gecko sings

Slow, rhythmical, a slow heavy march
Whining in the din of midday silence

The dust stirs
In the saturated air
Storm’s coming

Out of barred doors
The free hurl the damned
Face to the dust
His last respite

Breath is heavy
Eyes dead
Hope gone

He stands

The mob gathers
And the drums call
Resonating the dead wood
To fever pitch

Sir you stand accused…
The accused stares to the heavens
The lawman’s drone continues

The drums stop as the clouds
Form darkly
Storm’s here
The hammer falls 

The drums take up the call
As the gecko’s dirge begins
The air breaks
Rippling across the mob

He breathes again in the rain
The fools and legends retire
Onto wet dust
Tramping to the sound of drumming
The rope falls.

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