The hanging

A scared mother, her fear hauled her through the air,
Sweat in mouthfuls, sweaty hands;
The starving child cry, she stares at pictures of food
In an old magazine, glut those people page after page.

And the back rent, and the past-due bills— used for
Light when the electric is cutoff, or paper cups to
Catch rusted water dripping from a pipe for parched mouths;
Their tongues suicidal at a taste.

A vulturous boredom snapped in and out like bullets through glass,
Passes from mother to child,
Melts in a skin, loiters in a vein.
And a hard knock, a miscarriage—

Two bald white civil servants pinned her to a doorjamb,
Cuffed— a pivot of heels and dragged knees,
Slack-jawed reason, hauled off for deportation;
Driven to cringe in darkness; in shadows, something worse.

Back in a country, a hanging,
Dead, blackened hands, dead mouth;
Mother Mary in a white smock, taking stock of her
Worn shoes, her sodden clothing,

Her empty apartment, her tragedies, taking stock of
A cheated life. The flag waving crowds
And their god move like a shadeless socket—
Unhinging another unwanted immigrant.

What chance. What chance. They are made to live in
Obsolete houses, flattened to our way of life;
They resemble a dead bird falling out of a tree—
Appearing to have suffered a terror.

Copyright © 07/14/18 lance sheridan®

The hanging

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