Kenny Williams

On the Boulevard

                     Richmond — May 9, 1912

Preparations for a hanging–
executioners in shirtsleeves, a scaffold stage,
an audience of kids in boater hats and sailor whites,
their radiant and mutely cheering mothers.

I’d ask you here to uncover your eyes
and look again, but you’ve yet to look away,
knowing the condemned is just a cornerstone,
our capitol a riot of construction.

The pulley in its scaffold cage
Snaps the stone into its slot. I’m afraid,
by now, if we were more callous than we are,
we’d probably be talking Art.

Kenny Williams lives in Richmond, Virginia, and holds a degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poems have appeared most recently in Rattle, Lake Effect and Fence, and are forthcoming in FIELD and the Kenyon Review Online.