COMMISSIONS (back to list)

Reprieve

There’s no justice in the hangman’s rope
swinging in the air
There’s no grace upon the gallows
there’s no mercy in the chair
It’s lynch mob yippee-ai eye for an eye
string-em-up tooth for a tooth
Wild West values dressed in their Sunday best
vengeance burying the truth

But they won’t hold the needle
they won’t pull the switch
They won’t buckle the leather straps
they’ll just throw you in hell’s ditch
Where Death wears violent orange
and is shackled to your fears
A silent, cold companion
as you wait and count the years

And though your hope seems broken
bruised and beaten black and blue
Don’t drink the waters of oblivion
the world has not forgotten you
You will walk free from desolation
another life will come your way
And the blood-guilt stain on the Stars and Stripes
may be washed clean one day

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2008
for bbc radio 4’s saturday live

 

 

 

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