Dead As Charged

Dead As Charged

he was ignoring me

refusing to answer

a refusal that showed an utter disregard

a lack of respect for my position

I have every right to be listened to

to be obeyed

without questions

without hesitation

so when he refused

to acknowledge my command

to wake the fuck up

to roll off that bed

to lay face down on the floor

with his hands behind his back

I shot him


I panicked

when he didn’t move

I thought he was

was waiting for me to get closer

so he could pull off

his oxygen mask

pull out his intravenous tubes

and strangle me with them

or that he would grab a scalpel

and cut me to ribbons

I sensed he was faking it

to lure me to my death

so I shot him in self-defence

because he was unresponsive

he’ll never do that again

I taught him a lesson


let that be a lesson to anyone

who thinks being dead

is a way to avoid

our righteous violence

to protect the moral values

of the world we want to live in

This piece gives me shivers as I read. It has a ‘ripped from the head lines’ quality to it but takes it one step further, or does it? It is a combination of a list poem with a narrative that speaks from the shooter’s point of view. This pov approach is one I take so I can speak in a voice not my own in a way that allows the readers to make judgement calls.

Many of statements reflect things I have heard or read various law enforcement members say after a shooting. The message is all too often one in which lack of respect = death sentence. Not obeying quickly enough or properly also call for severe response. Being deaf, hard of hearing, or merely stunned after a punch are not acceptable causes for not obeying a command. I have seen cases in which the police officer’s panic was sufficient defence for his actions.

Has a dead person been shot after death? I can’t say, it wouldn’t surprise me, but people have been forced out of hospital beds at the command of police regardless of medical conditions. What nurse wants to be charged with obstruction of justice for saying a patient can’t be moved?

The ending is the usual justification for these actions. We do what we have to to protect you and if your doubt that then you too are the ‘enemy.’ I’ve performed this piece a few times. It reads well & I love the changes in emotion the language takes me through. The ‘thinks being dead’ gets a laugh but the ending is a bracing reminder of the moral stance some people are willing to take.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

One thought on “Dead As Charged

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