Tuesday, 12 February 2008


Two persons stood in the Pillory this Week for Sodomy, and were sadly maul’d.
(Mist’s Weekly Journal – 12th November 1726)

I look to the sun, but it does not warm
as we’re kicked, shoved on to the caravan;
Jeered and debased as the lowest worm.
The frictions of rope at wrist and neck burn,
and I can turn only slightly to watch them;
the murderous mob waiting in the streets.
They don't even know who I am
yet they carry armloads of vegetable rot.
All sound seems to seep away up there
when you're forced to look down.
The light is brighter, even the air
is softer than the finest eiderdown.
Then the first missile is struck in your face, your eye,
and even through the pain, you must not, must not cry.

1 comment:

Kittredge Cherry said...

Your poem gives voice to those whose voices are missing in the historical accounts and images of the executions of homosexuals. I appreciate its understated and human simplicity. Thank you for guiding me to this poem in relation to my post Ash Wednesday: A day to recall queers executed for sodomy. I just added a link to the poem there.

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