Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

Public Execution in Pictures

The caption did not overlook
the smart attire of the squad. Certainly
there was impressive swagger in that
ready, high-elbowed stance; belted
and sashed in threaded dragon teeth
they waited in self-imposed restraint-
fine ornament on power unassailable-
for their cue

                            at the crucial time

this pretty close-up lady in fine lace
proved unequal to it, her first no doubt,
and quickly turned away But not
this other-her face, rigid
in pain, firmly held between her palms;
though not perfect yet, it seems
clear she has put the worst
behind her today

                                 in my home

far from the crowded live-show
on the hot, bleached sands of Victoria
Beach my little kids will crowd
round our Sunday paper and debate
hotly why the heads of dead
robbers always slump forward
or sideways.

Written by Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)


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