The Hanging Tree - Poem by Tony Mushrow
The Hanging Tree…
The date is set, now I know my destiny, to dangle beneath the hanging tree. My one true love will be waiting for me, waiting beneath the hanging tree.
My willing mate, who knows my fate, she see’s my inner tormented soul, she stares back at me, with trembling lips, tears like diamonds on her cheeks, locked in a silent scream, she waits for me, waits, beneath the hanging tree.
And why, because I took my knife and let out jeering Johnny’s life, and this because he tried to steal my love and take her for his wife.
My mother I know is sick with grief, but insists she will be there. I suppose as the one who saw me enter the world has the right to be present when I leave.
But she is old, and frail, the stick she uses to keep her upright, is made from a branch from the very tree that will dispatch me from this world. How cruel an irony, that this tree’s limbs holds my mothers weight to keep her alive, while another will hold my weight to ensure I die.
The tree she waits, to hold me in her deathly embrace, as countless others, arms outstretched, gnarled, twisted, wizened with age. She will dangle me like a puppet, as I dance, choke, spit and rattle, and the pale rider, gallops on, to claim me from beneath the hanging tree.
I wait in my cell, the storms clouds gather, I see a man in the church, leaning on a spade, I know that he has dug a hole you see, that hole he’s dug, he’s dug for me.
So there I will be, with my necklace of rope. But I have told my love, to remember, that after, yes that I might be there, cold and still, beneath the hanging tree,
but no cell holds me,
no chains binds me,
I am like the bird,
on the wing,
I will be free…..
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