They hanged him on a clement morning, swung
between the falling sunlight and the women's
breathing like a black apostrophe to pain.
All morning while the children hushed
their hopscotch joy and the cane kept growing
he hung there sweet and low.
At least that's how
they tell it. It was long ago
and what can we recall of a dead slave or two
except that when we punctuate our island tale
they swing like sighs across the brutal sentences,
and anger pauses
till they pass away.