“Journey Back In Time: The Gallows”

April 4, 1829.

I step from the jail
Into bright sunlight
Which I have not seen
Since my trial.

My eyes
Accustomed
To dim shadows
And dark corners
Burn
As I stare
At glowing green leaves
Fluttering
Next to fluorescent flowers
On fragrant fruit trees.
The sun
Blazes orange
Before a brilliant blue sky.

Six armed men
Surround me.
Then twelve riders
Replace my footmen
As I am helped
Onto an unsaddled horse.

At first
I see only the masses.
Hundreds
Of curiosity seekers
There to watch me hang.
Then.
I see the farm wagon
With the black draperies
The simple pine coffin
The four lads
Sitting atop.

Friends.
Carefree.
Free.
As I would be
Had I not pulled
The trigger
On that long-past day
In the woods.

The procession begins.
The crowds multiply.
The insults of thousands
Vie for acknowledgment.

I stare ahead.
My sight blurred.
My senses numbed.
Until the gallows
Are upon me.

I am not prepared
For the reality of the noose.
I close my eyes
And pray
To a God
I do not believe in
That I will die
With dignity
If not with honor.
And that
In spite of my crime
And lack of faith
I will eternally
Rest in peace.

(Written for dVersepoets, Open Link Night Week 72, November 27, 2012.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, historical, historical fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “Journey Back In Time: The Gallows”

  1. Well versed and smooth in context.

  2. tough to die on the gallows…was wondering if you were writing about a specific person in history..

  3. vbholmes says:

    I started to write “The Gallows” shortly after I answered a query about the protagonist in my novel–so it is his story that provided the inspiration for my post. I will mention, however, that my character (greatly altered) is based on an actual person who was hung for murder in the early 19th-century.

  4. brian miller says:

    cant imagine facin the gallows….esp if it was for something that you felt was the right thing to do…esp back in that day….we are talking about the monarchs in world history and were talking about beheading today…

  5. Hang down your head Tom Dooley…

  6. Interesting treatment, and backstory as well. It makes for a provocative piece.

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