Summary: A poem.
Word Count: 1041
I just got home,
Four days away to a place I cannot name,
The sheriff is waiting for me,
He’s say’s that I am charged with murder,
“What do you mean? I didn’t kill anyone!” I shout,
You’re furious, you say they’re lying.
They take me in to stand trial,
I see you following close behind,
You’re furious I can tell,
Pa is in ‘Frisco, Hoss is in the hills,
You‘re the only one that was home,
And now I’m accused with a murder that I didn’t commit.
It’s been three days since they brought me in,
You’ve been there for every one of those days,
You’re begging me to tell them where I was,
‘Don’t you see, Adam,’ I want to shout,
‘I can’t; it would ruin a man that I admire,’
‘A man that has helped us more times than I can count.’
You ask me how I can just stand there and let this happen,
You say that I act as if I don’t care about what will happen to Pa, to Hoss, to you,
I want to say that I do care; it’s just that I can’t do as you ask,
The trail has come and gone, the verdict…Guilty, the sentence…
To hang at the neck until dead,
At sunrise nine days from now, I’ll be swinging in the breeze.
Now I begin the count down,
The count down to my last sunrise,
I have but nine days to make my peace,
Nine days to make you see that I did the right thing,
Nine days left of my life,
I might as well live them in peace.
Eight days to go,
Eight days ’til I see the sunrise,
The last sunrise in my life,
Out there in the street I’ll be watching it,
When the door falls open,
It’ll be the last thing I see in my life.
Seven days to go,
Seven days ’til I see the sunrise,
My brother, you must be crazy,
You can’t do that,
If you do, you might as well count with me,
Count with me to our last sunrise.
Six days to go,
Six days ’til I see the sunrise,
You still insist that you can do it,
You still say you’ll do it just so I can see another sunrise,
You need to get some sleep, my brother; you look beat,
I know you’ll be back tomorrow, I’ll see you then.
Five days to go,
Five days ’til I see the sunrise,
They won’t let you back today and you’re mad,
They let the preacher in to see me,
He told me to repent and confess to my sins,
I replied, “There’s nothing to confess.”
Four days to go,
Four days ’til I see the sunrise,
They let you back today,
I think you’re crazy for telling me that,
You don’t need to do that for me, my friend. As you walk away, I wonder,
How long you will last without me?
Three days to go,
Three days ’til I see the sunrise,
The boys just got here, you say,
They’re willing to help you I can tell in your voice,
Please, my friends, my brothers, you mustn’t,
I can see in your eyes though, you’re not going to let me go.
Two days to go,
Two days ’til I see the sunrise,
Hoss just came in and told me that you got drunk last night,
What are you trying to do my brother?
I’m not gone yet,
Can’t you see I need you to think logically once more?
One day to go,
One day ’til I see the sunrise,
You got arrested last night,
Drunk ‘n Disorderly conduct they said,
But I know that you just want to spend this time with me,
Adam, please listen to me!
The day has finally come,
The day of my last sunrise,
I see you in the crowd,
They let you out this morning,
I can feel your eyes on me as I look toward the sunrise,
Adam, please, please, don’t do something stupid.
Down the street they come,
Their horses are lathered and breathing hard,
I hear one of them shout, “Stop!”
My eyes are torn from the sunrise so I can watch them,
Judge Tandry*! But how did he know?
“Stop,” he says, “You’re hanging an innocent man.”
I see the shock on your face,
You’re surprised that the Judge has come,
Come to aid me,
I watch as he strides toward the gallows,
“You hang that man and I’ll see you don’t keep your job,” he tells Roy,
“That young man up there was with me at the time of the murder!”
I sigh in relief as the noose is removed,
You rush up and grab me in your arms,
“I guess you had a good reason for not telling, huh,” you say,
“I told you, Brother, I had to do this,” I reply,
“I couldn’t just ruin the Judge,”
You smile and say, “Why don’t we go get a drink?”
You sit down next to me as you hand me a drink,
“So how does it feel?” you ask,
I look at you and sigh, “Better than I thought it would,” I say,
You grin at me and laugh,
“Did you think I would actually stand there and watch you hang?”
“No Adam, my brother, I knew you wouldn’t.”
I look around the room,
There’s only the four of us in here now,
Everyone left when we came in, even the bartender,
I lift my glass as I catch everyone’s eye,
“Here’s to you, my friends, my brothers,”
I see the tears in your eyes as you lift your glass to touch mine.
“To friends and to brothers,” you whisper so only I can hear you,
As you raise your glass to your lips, I see a tear fall down your cheek,
You bring your glass down and set it on the table,
“So what do we tell Pa when he gets home?” you ask,
I ponder for a minute then grin,
“You’re a good storyteller, Adam, why don’t you come up with something?”
*Judge Tandry is my own creation.