Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

Blasphemy--American Style

     (A Kentucky mob, at a recent lynching, helped their victim say the
     "Lord's Prayer" when he seemed to have forgotten the words, after
     which they hanged him and burned his body.)

Look, God,
We've got a nigger here
To burn;

A goddam nigger,
And we're goin' to plunge
His cringin' soul
To Hell!

Now watch him
Squirm and wriggle
While we swing him
From this tree!

And listen, God,
You'll laugh at this
I know--

He wants to pray
Before we stage
This show!

He's scared
And can't remember
What to say--

Imagine, God,
A nigger tryin'
To pray!

Lean over, God,
And listen while we tell
This fool

The words
He couldn't even

"Our Father
Who art in Heaven,"
(Say it again!)

"Thy will be done
On earth . . ." (Laugh, God!)

To Hell with him!
Come on, men,
Swing him high!

A prayin' rigger,
Watch him die!

Written by Esther Popel (1896-1958)


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