Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poets dying

    We watched the bold display of the half-turned
    Looking-back face, the eyes, and smirking
    Leer as he walked up the stairs to the
    Scaffold and caressed  the lever, leaving us
    Wondering whether this fall through the hole
    In the floor was all there was or whether
    A lifetime of thinking derogatory thoughts

    Culminating in one defiant outburst was
    Something we should aspire to as an
    Example of confessing Him before men
    As it were despite the consequences. 
    Though critics crept upon us with their
    Brands of cowardice, when the day came
    We were still not yet ready:  A thunder-clap

    As the hangman tested his gear!  Was
    This a meaningless test or a condemnation?
    Our befuddled thoughts and the looking about
    Through rheumy eyes confused us with fear.
    Words jumped out as though vomit from
    An OED.  We this coming day would rather
    Jump from the Orizaba in the Mexican gulf.

    On days gone by we thought we’d rather
    Step from the boat to the shore without
    Wetting our feet.  “You won’t like this as
    Much as I do” the hooded man whispered,
    Grasping the handle with both hands.   If only
    Earlier we had put our head in and turned on
    The gas, we would now not feel our violent

    End, merely the critical pin pricks producing
    Each one a single drop of blood.  As the days
    Passed though, our supply depleted, we tied
    ourselves to our mast and shrank from
    The maw that yawned before us.  We were
    Not ready for the crack of the trap or the
    Roar of the hangman watching us fall.

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