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Volume 1 | Issue 4 | February 2007 | 

An Iraqi Girl and the Tudor Hangman

K.P.Krishnan Kutty

Let me figure out the shadows
in the fading twilight of wakefulness

the nightmare had mrs Rice in action
in the global theater:

an owl
on the look out
by the barns of east
lets out two hoots--
the final bell for the show to begin

in comes
a yanki
an executuve
an expert executioner
an uncommon adjudicator
plaintiff witness judge--
three in one

he calls the court to order:
"to the execution!"

no trial!
only summary disposal!
names tell the criminals!
an expert should know!

the execution
a show of skill and strength
the girl a frail little thing though

the noose tightens neat
and fast
around the kill
a sleight of hand
his knife's gentle ways

on his right palm
her extricated little heart
in throbs wild and red

as the global spectators
from plaintive sneezes
into passive claps break,
her frail little legs kick
her frail little limbs shake
the frail little girl struggles
to keep her heart in throbs

on and on
her heart throbs
and grows larger
and heavier
for his sinful palm to hold
and every throb
a blast of blood
that floods the Tigris
and the Thames
and swells the seven seas
and beyond
and overwhelms the mountains
in the east,
and in the west too

"who would have thought the little girl
to have so much blood in her?"

is the hangman scared?
do old rhetors haunt his words?
and where do the plaudits go
with pale and panciky fingers
that have forgotten to clap?
who are these that stagger
for the gates of escape?

why does the hangman fear
the lone American mother
who stands on vigil
for the lonely frail little Iraqi girl?









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