come executioner

By: Terry Jude Miller

on your dark steed head
held down by the weight of your duty
you are eyes and a hand on a tiller
sending the judged to whatever comes next

a coin in your pocket from those given by Anne
one circle—edge rubbed bright—a dark ritual
of seeking forgiveness—of knowing the names
of the lives you’ve taken

come, executioner, to the next town
and the next—there is always someone
being judged—the weak know no other way
to prescribe justice—but neither are they willing
to do their own dirty work

come, executioner, I’ve saved one prayer
for you


Terry Jude Miller is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet from Houston. He received the 2018 Catherine Case Lubbe Manuscript Prize for his book, The Drawn Cat’s Dream. His work has been published in the Southern Poetry Anthology, The Lily Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, and The Oakland Review and in scores of other publications. He formerly served as 1st Vice Chancellor of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

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