Rusty Gallows

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Contributor: Dee Allen

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Corrosion covers
The whole goddamn structure
Like a filthy blanket.
With so much widespread
Decay, this old
Tarnished bridge should have
Collapsed from crashing waters
Many floods ago.
By some fluke of nature,
Unscathed by time, it still
Stands over the muddy
Chickasawhay River in
Shubuta, Mississippi.

Once a passageway to a long
Forgotten Clarke County destination,
Twice an implement
Of execution
Like an iron crucifix.

Skull and crossbones

Etched on the bridge's base
Cryptic warning
Meant for anyone
Unlucky enough to cross it
And the invisible line
Away from "their place".

Between both world wars,
Unspecified parties--
Let's re-phrase that--
Haters strung up
Four boys,
Two girls
Both pregnant,
Young, Negro and
Guilty of nothing
Hung from knotted ropes
Tight around necks
Tied to rusty girders
Over the coursing river
Like six
Black flags
Sailing in
The gentle
Southern wind.
W: 8.17.18
[ Inspired by the book "Hanging Bridge" by Jason Morgan Ward.

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African. Italian. Poet.


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