By Craig Oare

Chirping chatter around the pond in the warm rain at McLane–worlds away from the scandal and shame of death row in Texas.
I want to send the usual letter, stained with Otto’s coffee
like our seven years of letters, bashing Bush and the damn Yankees and all the bullshit banter,
and poems to answer your poems and your many brilliant drawings. How can I write that letter, Robert, when you’re in the countdown now, forty days and forty nights.
What can I say, that anything can happen?
Or that everything is meant to be? I’m right in the middle of that contradiction,
still quoting dear old Whitman: “Very well, I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Here’s another pile of books, what else can I do?
Come there, watch them kill you? Do you really want me to?
Our rowboats are all leaking and we’re all going down.
But to know the day and hour of death
and every cruel detail,
the last meal, last walk, last words, the tight straps and the cold needle, the eyes of parents, both yours and hers.
Strange audience, all injected,
no clemency for any in the room. I’m sending all the love I have,
I wish that I had more.
I don’t know how to end this poem. Your friend, Craig Oare

Craig Oare writes poetry in Olympia, Washington. Reprinted by permission.

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