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A Texas Coronation

Electrocutions show our love of rite:
We give the favored one a kingly feast,
As well as pen and ink so he can write
The thoughts that we will prize when he’s deceased.
 
We see his needs are carefully addressed:
Fine soaps and lotions for his last toilette,
His denim vestments washed and neatly pressed —
A towel to wipe away the beads of sweat.
 
His chaplain comes and reads a psalm to show
The kingdom he’ll inherit when he’s dead;
And then a courtly barber comes, bows low
To shave his shaking shins and then his head.
 
A silent entourage supports him down
The hall, and then secures him to the throne;
Upon his head we place a cabled crown,
So heavy his attendants hear him groan.
 
And then while we are careful to maintain
Our poise —to spite the lands where we’re despised —
We send him to that unexplored domain.
How dare they say that we’re uncivilized!

(1985)

This poem is dated now because most states have chosen other means of executing convicts

satire

Other works by G.F. Braun ...



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