Kenneth Patchen

Here you will find the Poem The Hangman's Great Hands of poet Kenneth Patchen

The Hangman's Great Hands

And all that is this day. . . 
The boy with cap slung over what had been a face. .. 

Somehow the cop will sleep tonight, will make love to his
Anger won't help. I was born angry. Angry that my father was
being burnt alive in the mills; Angry that none of us knew
anything but filth, and poverty. Angry because I was that very
one somebody was supposed To be fighting for 
Turn him over; take a good look at his face...
Somebody is going to see that face for a long time. 
I wash his hands that in the brightness they will shine. 
We have a parent called the earth. 
To be these buds and trees; this tameless bird Within the
ground; this season's act upon the fields of Man. 
To be equal to the littlest thing alive, 
While all the swarming stars move silent through The merest
. .. but the fog of guns. 
The face with all the draining future left blank. . . Those smug
saints, whether of church or Stalin, Can get off the back of
my people, and stay off. Somebody is supposed to be fighting
for somebody. . . And Lenin is terribly silent, terribly silent
and dead.