Death Penalty In China – Poetry By Larry Smeets

 

 

KILLING CHICKENS TO SCARE MONKEYS

(Dedicated to those working for the abolition of the death penalty in the Peoples Republic of China, a country where thousands are executed each year for crimes ranging from the most heinous offences, such as murder, to lesser crimes such as tax fraud, theft of cultural relics, corruption, and small-scale drug trafficking)

 

 

It’s execution day

in ZhengzhouTown.

The parade of the condemned ends

at a grassy knoll.

There (so the saying goes)

chickens will die

so monkeys will be scared.

Two policemen

ready each bound man,

pressing him down

to a kneeling pose

with head bowed.

A third

strides up from behind

to serve up

his Just Deserts.

Little fanfare here.

No volley of bullets

fired by a mob of men

who then tramp past

the crumpled corpse

comfortably unclear

about whose bullet

exactly

took its life.

No injection either

devised to ease

the poor man’s mind

as it loosens

his soul from

its corporeal home.

Death is dispensed

by a single shot

to the back of the head.

Due consideration is given

to the comfort of killers

alone.  Spared are they

the inconvenience

of having to listen

to any last words.

Spared too the burden

of having to stare

their victim in the eye

as they cast

him off a cliff

into the Next World.

His last moments

are spent looking

the other way.

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