The pay is good. The world's abrim
With men in need of dying.
Though being shunned confounds him
Some, he's past the point of trying.
Unwelcome in their church, he prays
Alone for his deliverance,
But can't recall the magic phrase
To jimmy open God's forgiveness.
He looks sidelong at all their locks,
the doors he may not enter.
And ponders hard the paradox
Of circles with no center.
The citizens avert their eyes
From him at obtuse angles.
Preserving thus in their surmise
Safe distance from the throats he strangles.
He feels no need to hide his face.
He does the work as bidden.
Yet yearns to feel the touch of grace,
Which seems perversely hidden.
The man sleeps heavy on his farm.
He's valiant in a world unkempt,
Where every breed of villain swarms.
The hangman dreams his hands are hemp.
Copyright © Michael Higginbotham