The Lynching - Sam Lane

The Lynching - Sam Lane

The woods stepped aside from the mob, willfully 
live and water oaks and cypress trees ignore 
her cries, beggings for her baby. Regretfully 

her kin had learned to silently mourn. 
Mary couldn’t hear nigger nigger nigger 
any more. Hung upside down, feet swollen 

from the pregnancy, ankles itch like chigger 
bites from the rope. Her cuts burn and boil 
with gnats. Mary could hear nigger nigger 

no more. Her thin dress drenched in lamp oil and spit 
gasoline, sweat and blood she barely lit, 
the cigar took a lifetime to light, to broil 

To flake off, to expose the bump. The blade flicked 
incited laughter—nervous and intentional. 
Her stomach opened like an eye. The boy dropped

a month early, tumbled down the warm hill
of his mother under a boot. The smothered
son was left scattered by a cruel heel

like an emptied pecan shell. Unsatisfied
at the steaming mess, the mob shot
until they were empty and had pulverized.

Mary hung tattered like the Spanish moss that haunts
every tree in the Dirty.

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