A Dissident on Death Row.

The anonymous prisoner of ‘conscience’
Ignores the dish of ground-glass rice
And tin mug of brackish water
His guards have probably pissed in.
He sits on his haunches
Against the cell back wall
Staring at the door
Wishing for a face at the peep-hole
A human voice, even one mouthing
Threats of raping wife or child
Or crude epithets would do.
The flap opens. A distant scream
From down the corridor drills his ears
The slot shuts with a gunshot ‘crack’
Echoing the volleys stealing the lives
Of freedom fighter comrades.
The prisoner is a man
Acquainted with grief and pain
His outer body caged
Festering tumours rot him within.
Memories of happy days,
Playing beach ball with children
He will never see again
Run rat-like around his fractured mind.
‘Was it worth it
Will I be missed? 
My end will be as a fist                      
Lifted from a pail of water
Leaving no trace
Lime and earth will cover me
Will my children remember me?
Come, sweet death,
Free me from pain
And thoughts’ torment
Come sweet lead 
Your bitter peck
Will set me free
Come sweet bullet
My cell door key.’


© coolhermit 2023
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