My, what a sight they were—hanging from the tree that day
distant but, blazing like stars in the sky.
Yet we could only stand still, breathless still—silent, as they swayed
our faces feeling kissed by the sunshine rays
settling in through those black outlines, God wouldn’t even recognize my—
what a sight they were, hanging from the tree that day.
Bodies open like, flowers bloomed? Animals slain?
No—it was my limbs my face my flesh I recognized.
Yet we could only stand still, breathless, still—silent as they swayed.
All of the women in me bellowed we—have al—ready, paid.
And this is what our freedom buys my,
my what a sight they were, hanging from the tree that day.
The earth caved in. I felt it saying, “Good god—how they weigh”
The heavens fled, vanished from sight; evil himself shielded his eye.
Yet we could only stand still, breathless, still—silent as they swayed
Now the sun failed to shine—And not too far away,
I felt a woman’s heart begin to cry. I felt a child’s lips quiver. I felt a man break inside
my—what a sight they were—hanging, from the tree that day.
Yet we could only stand, —still breathless—still. Silent. As they swayed.
By Gabrielle Lawrence
Gabrielle Lawrence is a writer and editor. She holds a BA in English and is pursuing her MFA in poetry at the University of Central Arkansas. She has worked for the Oxford American Magazine, Trio House Press, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her writing can be found in Gravel Magazine, A Gathering Together Journal, Words Apart Magazine, The Chaos: Journal of Personal Narrative and West Wind Literary Journal.