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Friday, 09 August 2013 16:32

an execution is not simply death

if I were on death row
would I beg them to execute me

and choose death by bullets
or the gas chamber
would I shout my innocence
to my last breath
would I be the last woman
publicly hanged

the last person 
executed in britain australia
would I order a last meal
of a single pitted olive
or two pints of
chocolate chip ice-cream

 would I be a foreign
drug smuggler in a chinese

jail or interred for social
crimes in iran or singapore

or a political prisoner
in apartheid south africa

would I lay my neck
on a stone slab allow

the hooded man to behead me

or feel the cold bite
of the guillotine

would I let them stone me
hounded by village scandal

or burn me at the stake

would the other inmates sing
me to my death

or would I walk
quoting philosophers?
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Kerry Hammerton

Kerry Hammerton has published poetry in various South African and UK literary journals. These are the lies I told you, her debut poetry collection, was published by Modjaji Books in 2010. Some of her poems appear in the anthology Difficult to Explain, (2010 Finuala Dowling ed.) Other poems appear in the following anthologies: Africa, My Africa (2013 Patricia Schonstein ed.), For a Rhino in a Shrinking World (2013 Harry Owen ed.), Heart of Africa (2014 Patricia Schonstein ed.), and Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Books 2015). The Weather Report, her second collection, was published in 2014.

Website: www.kerryhammerton.com
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