The ExecutionBy Alden Nowlan p. 101-102 of Selected Poems (House of Anansi Press, 1996)
On the night of the execution a man at the door
mistook me for the coroner. “Press”, I said.
But he didn’t understand. He led me into the wrong room
where the sheriff greeted me: “You’re late Padre.”
“You’re wrong,” I told him. “I’m Press.” “Yes. Of course, Reverent Press.”
We went down a stairway.
“Ah, Mr. Ellis,” said the Deputy. “Press!” I shouted. But he shoved me through a black curtain.
The lights were so bright
I couldn’t see the faces
of the men sitting
opposite. But, thank God, I thought they can see me!
“Look,” I cried, “Look at my face! Doesn’t anybody know me?”
Then a hood covered my head.
“Don’t make it harder for us,” the hangman whispered.
Poetry that is comic and speaks to the plausible but surreal truth and in plain everyday language.
Brilliant. Thanks for sharing that.
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