gibbet cage

by Mark Cassidy

Once I was a young boy, clambered limber, surefooted, into an empty gibbet and swung the blackwood, gristle-crusted cage bang tight.

Sat squat-faced, open-legged, in the charnel basket, rocking in the swooping sea fret neath racing cloud, and glowered at the pilgrims, all of them stoop-shouldered, meagre boned, the dread weight of hope upon their backs, trudging the open road to salvation.

Grinned wide, tongue lolling, snarled, pulled at my ears, barked dog’s abuse and laughed and sang and squawked and gibbered until the rain came, and the fiery dark, the smoky night, my mother’s shouts along the sodden shadows of the green lanes, and climbed down to carry my father’s pail of porter home.

Mark Cassidy was born in Glasgow and grew up in a market town close by Teesside. He emigrated to Canada at eighteen and worked all over the world from there. At present he lives and works in Texas.

Photo ‘Something Forgotten?’ by Dg-505 via Wikimedia Commons.