Chakra Living

Lingering on the Gallows

by Madhava Gosh

Posted May 25, 2005

Guiltless, by all measure
except empiric decree,
he stands where the sandbag
finished its chore.

Redeemed, at peace;
the warmth ofthe sun,
the Eye of God,
upon his cheek.

A scent of fruitwood burning,
diluted by a purifying wind,
reaches the platform
with the cry of a blue jay.

Floorboards tremble
under approaching steps;
he can count every bristle
of the noose against his ear.

A pause, and he wonders
if this breath will be the last
this body takes,
or the next.

Suddenly two dogs
go teeth bared into survival
mode, snarling and biting,
loudly blind to all but their opposite.

For an instant, the hangman
turns instinctively to look.
A small cloud scuttles under the sun,
a flicker of coolness on his skin.

Then again the sky brightens
under a dome of blue,
so richly blue.