Troy Davis will be executed tonight at 7 pm if there is no miracle to prevent his killing. The Death penalty is not justice. It is a crime. One murder is never justified by another murder, so please call and do all you can to prevent Georgia from putting Troy Davis to death at 7 pm.
Here is a poem I wrote the night Stanley Tookie Williams was executed in California in 2005. The poem, “Bringing Closure” has since been published in my third book of poems, The River is Rising (Autumn House Press, 2007) Read it, and call : (404)656-5651, (404) 656-5651, fax (404) 651-8502; Call Judge Penny Freesemann at 912 652 7252. Fax at 912 652-7254, Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-353-1555, urge them to intercede for Troy Davis. These numbers are busy, but keep calling and you may get through.
— Patricia Jabbeh Wesley (copyright: The River is Rising Autumn House Press, 2997)
Closure is such a final thing- the needle in the arm,
one last word or no last word at all, a death chamber
where the supposed convict lies waiting so the poison
will descend or ascend to the heart, a final beat,
and then sleep, that eternal thing none of us living
has ever seen. In California, today, a man is being
put to death, but outside, his supporters wait; candles,
flames, anger- the cold chill of death and life,
and a country that waits for all the arguments to die
or live on. The victim’s mother will see closure today,
they say, and move on after the murderer or the supposed
murderer is laid to rest with her son, side by side.
Death is such an ironic thing to know. To know death
is to know rot, hush, the lack of pain. It is 3 am
in Pennsylvania. Time, so deceptive, and arbitrary
and imperfect. Around the world, we all wait, for
the executioner’s poke into vein, blood meeting poison.
We are such civilized people, I’d say, dishing out death
in small poking needles. The newsmen tell us they
cannot find his vein. The awkwardness of asking the one
awaiting death to find his own vein so they can murder
him too- the executioner’s awkward fingers, the knowing
fingers- afraid of both the man and the art of killing the man.
I hate death. I hate the dying, the ugly process of dying,
the ritual of murder. So I too, keep vigil on my carpet.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell my eleven year-old daughter how
we have all murdered another human being. An eye
for an eye, so far away from my bedroom of dim lights,
a comforter or two, the surrounding hills in close view.
There is always a mountain here in Pennsylvania,
always that looming presence of life and death and the
far away feeling of the valley below, of being so far away
from home. There is no closure, I see, after the poison
has reached the heart, and the accused, stretched out, finally.
The victim’s mother begins to weep all over again-
as if this was just the beginning of the dying.
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