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I should like to be hanged on a summer afternoon.

I have often thought I should like to be hanged On a summer afternoon in daylight, the sun shining and

bands playing, In a park or on a public square or a main street corner,

everybody in town looking on and talking about it, Newspaper extras spelling my name in tall headlines telling

the town I am getting hanged. And I smile to the sheriff and say he will be laughed at if the

rope breaks And he goes puttering, solemn, doing a duty under the law, Feeling the ropes, searching corners, testing scantlings. And before the cap is drawn over my head And before my feet are tied for the straight drop, When I am asked if I have any last work to say before I go

to meet my God and Maker; I speak in a cool, even voice, fixing my eyes maybe on some

dark-eyed mother in the crowd, a grown dark-eyed

daughter leaning against her. I speak and say, "I am innocent and I am ready to meet my

God face to face" ... I have often thought I should like to be hanged that way on

a summer afternoon in daylight, the sun shining and

bands playing.
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Author:Sandburg, Carl
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Words:201
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