General Poetry posted April 8, 2019

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The clumsiest hanging in the history of the Wild West

The Hanging of Black Jack Ketchum

by BlueMarble

This story happened many years ago
In a town called Clayton New Mexico
Black Jack Ketchum, New Mexico’s bane
Killed a man while robbing a train
Robbing a train might bring a sentence too light
But killing a man?  –   That’s just not right
The judge and his jury all said “hot-dang”
“What we got here is a man that should hang”
The town hadn’t ever had a hanging before
As it turned out they never had anymore
That just made it doubly sad
Their only hanging should go so bad
Folks came from far and wide to watch the show
Never expecting the way it would go
The rope was too long and rigid too
It didn’t do what it was planned to do
Instead of swinging his body aloft
It yanked the poor man’s head right off
His head went flying then rolled around
While Black Jack firmly stood his ground
The town folks in shock did what they could
To get the poor man back to looking good
They sewed his head back in place
Then carried him out to a resting space
They gave him a spot on the local boot hill
Where as far as I know he’s resting still
Witnesses now are a long time gone
But back in Clayton the story lives on
History books have described it best
As the clumsiest hanging in the Wild West


Western writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a rhyming poem with a western theme. Can be a story or poem, any length, but must rhyme.

True Story, even the part about sewing the head back on before they buried him.

Photo of Thomas Edward (Black Jack) Ketchum on the scaffold before hanging, April 26, 1901, Clayton, New Mexico.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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