The Execution (Hour Nineteen)

I was led to the gallows

Gruffly, by indifferent men

Who’d learned not to feel.

They pushed me forward,

So that I would climb the steps.

When I reached the top,

The hangman looked into my eyes.

How are you?” he said.

Pardon me,” I beseeched.

Excuse me,” he said,

As he slipped the cover over my head,

Then the noose,

Adding, “Thank you.”

Pardon me,” I implored,

Though he was not a lawman.

And his last words, which came after mine,

Which I heard as darkness became light,

Were “Have a nice day, darlin’. Welcome home.”

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