I saw this black
and white
photograph once
of a Deep South lynching


of two African Americans
(or black guys
as they were termed then)
hanging from a tree


by their necks
eyes closed
(as if they dozed)
dressed in rag clothes


one with his head
to one side
hands untied
a crowd looking on


one white guy pointing
the rest looking
with acute interest
what the two guys did


or why
they were lynched
I had no idea
or why the need


to photograph
a sense of justice?
or threat?
or for a laugh?


I had no clue
but looking at them
hanging there
surrounded by a crowd


I thought
of the Crucified
the Christ
and wondered


if He'd been hanged
by the neck
from some gallows
instead of being


nailed to a cross
and His followers
wore small gallows
instead of a cross


it was alter
His sacrifice
or lessen
the sense of loss?


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