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Portrait of a Hanging

With the opening of my fortress cell, solemn-faced men come locust invading in Their mouths smile not, and eyes neither grin as ceremonial words pursed lips expel A deer thought escapes ... my life nears its end! And I feel the cold October Halloween Day wind blast unrelenting upon my pale black skin, as I’m led to the high place of slaughtering So afraid am I to face this final reckoning Then quickly rushing along beside me comes a beard dripping drunken memory — my faithful, forgetful friend And I beg him to pirate me away from this awful nightmarish place He takes a pleasure soaked finger, presses it against my dry lips, and my chaotic world suddenly become silent, calming me Then remember I with sober physician clarity, how came this horrible fate thrust so surgically into my fear stricken heart I’m dissected to the soul, pierced with better possibilities that did not unfold And the ravenous pain which drove me to my impending demise takes hold So hungry was I, as I secreted the baker’s abode, taking the cursed crusted thing that compelled me so And in my rushed exit carelessness, I left open the window, allowing in Death’s bone chilling cold It searched out the baker’s sickly wife: for she had no warm shawl upon her head Tragically while sleeping, she unwittingly uncovered her bed And the night reaper’s icy kiss left her dead How came my avenging captors upon me so quicky, I had often asked myself, as I brooded in my iron-walled safe refuge keep? The mystery revealed to me, was explained in utter simplicity The freshly baked dough left a hot trailing scent of butter and cinnamon This wafting, rye accusing finger hounded me, it howled at me ... and my accidental sin caught up to me I pleaded for mercy from the magistrate, to no avail My poor protestations stilled by a sentencing gavel pound Death by hanging was the judge’s obsidian decree, as agreed the abiding ivory jury So here these trembling, shuffling steps of my terrified feet, marches unwillingly closer to my final destination Upon each raised wooden rung I go, prodded roughly for I move slow Desperate am I to hold onto life to the very last As my petrified body reaches the top, I see them testing the opening and shutting of the bottom that will drop out And I silently cry to God: I don’t want to die! I ask the Lord to forgive my deep scarlet sin; my ignorant, widow bruising transgression I sorrowfully confess I regret the robbing of a life that was not mine to take But with chains, my thievish hands tied behind my back are bound, and fetters wrapped tightly around my larcenous feet, I now accept at last the dark uncertainty awaiting me For the executioner places a thick rope boa against my neck, and it constricts its twined body ever so slightly With deadened curiosity, I watch the gathering of the murmuring crowd, and my captive eyes lash out at them Angrily blink questioning them: what was the admission price they had to pay to see someone’s life taken away? Some shout, some wag their finger about Some faint, some laugh and caress a half-dressed bottle as they drank While some children cry, and some frolic about under the looming darkening sky And I notice a small child looking on just as curious as I He reminds me of me, in my youthful days gone by In that moment, I pray that his watchful parent shield his eyes, so that he carries not forever the image in his mind of seeing a human being die As a coarse cloth is draped over my head ... and the darkness descends prematurely, my anxiety and dread is transformed instead — I feel tranquility leading me to death’s edge peacefully, as I inhale long my last taste of air With the dropping of my body weight and the snapping of my neck, my closed eyes see with fleeting awe, a spirit rainbow bird of paradise fly slowly upward away And this lifeless figure swings below, as an unknown artist paints a beautiful portrait of a hanging Colorful strokes of celestial forgiveness and resin hidden redemption A writ of clemency given by a higher Judge This heavenly pardon is mixed into the paint, unbeknownst to the obscure artist — whose tear-stained portrait will one day make him famous

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 10/21/2017 3:45:00 PM
Another great great piece Freddie. I felt like i was the one you wrote about. So real and dark and wonderful.
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Date: 10/19/2017 11:36:00 AM
Wow! Freddie, What can I say about this well written write? You painted a portrait about " hanging" that was so clear to see. What a dark chapter in history. Did his crime justify being hung? No in my book. You shredded light on this horrific chapter in history very well. As always Excellent job my talented friend:-) Alexis
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Date: 10/17/2017 12:51:00 PM
You are a fantastic weaver of words. How horrifying and yet how the peacefulness of death. He ponders, he cares about the youth. The boa around his neck...constricting. Well thought out!
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Date: 10/17/2017 11:40:00 AM
Drama to the very end, Freddie. Great write, I made the long walk with him...
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