Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week was: “The next step.”

I haven’t had much time to write. We ended up with one of our grandsons spending the night last night and three of them spending the night tonight. It’s been a wonderful day, but my computer has been busy killing about a thousand zombies. I only got to use it after they went to bed. That’s why this poem was rushed, and the zombies are probably why my mind twisted the prompt in this direction.

by Mike Patrick

Thirteen steps await me now,
until my journey’s close.
I take a pause upon each one,
to reflect the end I chose.

I never thought that I’d go wrong
within my soft and gentle life.
That was before I found out
I had a cheating wife.

If I hadn’t stopped and given thought,
my sentence would be years.
Premeditation is the rub
which caused my trail of tears.

I saw her there, with my best friend
in a lightly falling rain.
Then I went home and got my gun;
they never met again.

I stand upon the final step:
the platform where I’ll die.
With this step up, the talking stops;
I hear my mother softly cry.

The executioner speaks low,
“You’re doing fine, one step to go.”
A priest beside me starts to pray,
“Accept his soul from earth’s plateau.”

My face is covered with a hood
and a drummer starts to play.
I’m asked if there is anything
I would like to say.

The next step sounds so hollow
beneath my quaking feet.
The noose is placed around my neck,
my life at last complete.

This entry was posted in Death, Mixed Meter, Poetry, Rhyming, Sunday Scribblings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to THE NEXT STEP

  1. earlybird says:

    oh! Obviously I knew what was coming but even so… This swung along really well, Mike. Such gentle poetry for two killings.

  2. ladynimue says:

    What i totally like about your post is the perfect rhyme !
    A simple tale said so well …

  3. Poets United says:

    Like it – a gritty Johnny Cash style poem.

  4. margo roby says:

    I love it, but then I haven’t read anything of yours I don’t like. A friend of mine said when I told him I was retiring to write poetry: “Lyrics, Margo. Write lyrics. That’s where the money is”. I’m no good with lyrics, but it strikes me, if you know someone who writes music, this would make a great song.

  5. Leonargo says:

    Wow, this is really brilliant! I have this scene playing in my head now, with The Long Black Veil in the background (though the song is a different situation/side).
    Very eloquently written making it all the more chilling!

  6. marsha says:

    I agree and also thought, would be a good song. I also know all of us will someday have just a few steps left to take.

  7. Pen says:

    I like the meter and rhyme. It’s also very visual and well-written.

  8. vivinfrance says:

    I can hear it with a tune, a little bit country, maybe. May I have a go at setting it?

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Viv, I’ve always wanted to write songs. I cannot help but put words to any music I hear, but I do not have the instrumental skill to reverse the process and put music to a lyric. Feel free to take your best shot. It will probable need a lot of editing to come up with any sort of usable refrain. Good luck.

  9. pmwanken says:

    I couldn’t resist any longer…I needed to read this post even though I have yet to respond to “the next step” prompt. The top of the picture kept taunting me when I would pass by. Such a great piece. Definitely pulls at the heart. I’m with EarlyBird…the picture tells you what’s coming, but I couldn’t stop reading! Nicely done, Mike, as always!

  10. Amazing one Mike, what a journey… it would really be great along with music,

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