Wednesday, October 19, 2016

PATRICIA SMITH ~









A Poem for the Man Who Shot My Father



I don't know where you are now,
so for the purposes of this poem
I will imagine you dead.
The circumstances of your death,
of course,
should be ironic. A bullet smashes into
the back of your skull. A bullet
smashes into the back
of your skull. A bullet smashes into the back
of your skull. A coincidence.


For the purpose of this poem, but only
for the purposes
of this poem,
I will imagine you in hell
where you are doused and torched
each second, every second,
and you feel it all;
you feel everything.


For the purposes of this poem
I would like you to describe
my father's face
the moment he turned
and saw you          
                    wild-eyed and thirsty
the moment when he knew
the moment before he turned away
to run, to run


And for the purposes
of this poem, I would like to hold
that picture in my head. I would like to live
over
and
over
again
that look of an animal trapped
in the headlights


because, even though
I have imagined you dead,
you are probably not too dead to remember
that there is a hell
here too.


_____________________

Patricia Smith
C L O S E     T O     D E A T H
Zoland Books, 1993






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