Lethal Injection

Apologies for the rough state of this poem.  Richard deserves more, but it’s better to post it now than wait — Richard’s execution is set for next week.  To read about the case, go here.

For Richard Glossip:
A Petition for a Stay of Execution by Lethal Injection

Be rational. Most people are not saints,
But most of us are reasonable (less or more):
Enough to know the subtle difference
Between a needle and an open door.
And people who have murdered do not do
What this man’s done, for fifteen years and more:
Face the needle, face it and refuse
To say the words to make it disappear —
Such simple words! “I planned it. It was me.
His money was the thing we killed him for.”
And now the needle’s ready. In the court
They’re handing down the order for the mort.

Two trials, an inadequate defense,
Untested witnesses, more prison time,
And still no hair, no trace of evidence
To link him to a motive or a crime.
Nothing but the killer saying “Him:
He planned it all, he made me do it — he.
By testifying this, I save my skin:
The needle goes to him, and not to me.”
And now the needle’s ready. In the court
They’re handing down the order for the mort.

Your Honor — worthy judges of the state —
Gracious Governor of public things —
All you who live and work this peaceful day
Without the fright of needles in your dreams —
Respect this needle. It has sting and force
Too keen for use on doubtful things;
Return it to its case, and tell the court
To terminate the order for the mort.

*        *        *        *        *

To sign the petition to stay Richard’s execution, go here.  For more information and updates about Richard’s case, follow the Facebook page “RichardGlossipIsInnocent.”


About middlingpoet

From the Gawain poet to Rainer Maria Rilke: I love traditional poetry.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Wrongful Convictions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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