Friday, April 4, 2014

"Pantoum for a Scapegoat" by Hiram McDaniels

 Note from the author: a pantoum is a poetic style where lines are repeated. But this isn't really a proper pantoum since I changed some words and the order..

I leaned on the railing the night that you lied.
The porch bulb swung gently, a spark still inside.
A sallow-winged moth, entranced by the sight,
Meandered in fruitless pursuit of the light.

The porch swing swung gently. A spark stilled inside me.
Who knew now what other foul truths you denied me?
I stalked off in fruitless pursuit of the light.
The doubt of you followed me into the night.

I knew now there were other truths you’d denied
As the shovel and pickaxe I deftly applied.
Not even you followed me into the night.
You just clutched at the porch-swing and said they were right.

The pick and the spade having been well-applied,
A dark plastic sheet in the earth I espied.
I clutched at the handle and knew they were right.
The truth of it tore at my heart like a bite.

A dark wrapped-up shape in the sheet I espied.
My hands with its dust, red and flaking, were dyed.
You warn with no bark. You’ve a deadlier bite.
Then, floodlights and sirens, all blindingly bright.

A sallow-winged moth burned up at the sight
Of floodlights and sirens, all blindingly bright.
My hands with your sin, red and blatant, were dyed.
I hung by the neck for the night that you lied

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