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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Written in the late 1970s. A poem written as a letter from a man on death row. Probably not so popular these days in the modern revenge society. Remember as the Bard said, “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is interred with their bones.”

Submitted: January 21, 2011

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Submitted: January 21, 2011



[Letter from a man on death-row awaiting execution
for a series of sex-murders, to his wife on the outside]

Dear Missus; I hope you’re doing well
Because I’m doing all right;
I don’t blame you for my troubles
As I don’t blame

Still you have to admit if you’d treated
me better, I might not be where I am now;
And perhaps all those years that we shared
Might not have been all in vain.

Yes dear, you hurt me so. But why?
What happened between us when
Elizabeth was born
And the doctors told us she was blind?
How you screamed, “No more children!”
As though it was your right alone to decide.

You completely forgot about me then. It was
as though you could no longer see me, or feel me;
You gave all of your love to
There was no love left over for me. You became
cold and frigid, you know you can’t deny it.

That’s why we were always fighting over sex
Because you were afraid to get pregnant. Afraid that
any child we had would be abnormal, like
I even took our problem to the specialists
They all said exactly the same thing:

Until another child was born, (bornnormal)
You could never give your love to me.
They were right, of course, the specialists;
Can’t you remember your terror when Daniel was born?
You dragged him to the doctor’s two or three times
a week. Until satisfied he was completely normal.

Then you came to give your love to me
But it was too late by then: So I had to go
to gaol. While you walked about free;
But why? Even your sister, Tanya, knew why.
But, of course, you refused to listen to her.

When I was released I trusted you, believed in you
I went around saying things like, “Let’s forget about
the past, start out clean, plan for the future.”
But no. My suffering in gaol wasn’t enough for you
You said that you had wasted a whole year of your life,
because of me. A WHOLE YEAR OF YOUR LIFE!

You said that if I ever went inside again
You would leave me, and take the children away,
You kept saying you could never believe in me again
Not until I had proven that I had really reformed;
I should have left you right there and then
But because I loved you, I couldn’t leave you.

Love should not be only when one person wants it
Yet that’s how it always was between us,
I know that I’m the one who went bad
But you know that you drove me to it;
I’m deeply sorry for the things I’ve done
I went wrong, and now I have to pay for my deeds.

But even that is not enough for you
You told me never to write to you,
Or that if I did, never to mention love;
So even now, when I need your loving
the most, you have abandoned me.

If you won’t stand by me now, then
there can be no reason to want to go on,
No reason to want to fight for my life;
There can be no reason to want to live on
to see the outside world again.

You may never know the feeling of being truly lost.
Of waiting for letters or telephone calls that
will never come. Of being in love with someone who
just laughs in your face, at all your talk of love.

As for me, my dear? Well somehow I still love you
Still need your love more than ever before.
All I can hope is that somehow, someday you will
open your eyes to the truth, and you will know how you
have wronged me. Maybe then you will mourn for me.

© Copyright 2011
Philip Roberts

© Copyright 2017 Philip Roberts. All rights reserved.

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