Treasure Island

Sheldon Allan Silverstein

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999 / Chicago/ Illinois)

25 Minutes To Go


They're buildin' the gallows outside my cell.
I got 25 minutes to go.

And in 25 minutes I'll be in Hell.
I got 24 minutes to go.

Well, they give me some beans for my last meal.
23 minutes to go.

And you know... nobody asked me how I feel.
I got 22 minutes to go.

So, I wrote to the Gov'nor... the whole damned bunch.
Ahhh... 21 minutes to go.

And I call up the Mayor, and he's out to lunch.

I got 20 more minutes to go.

Well, the Sheriff says, 'Boy, I wanna watch you die'.
19 minutes to go.

I laugh in his face... and I spit in his eye.
I got 18 minutes to go.

Well...I call out to the Warden to hear my plea.
17 minute to go.

He says, 'Call me back in a week or three.
You've got 16 minutes to go.'

Well, my lawyer says he's sorry he missed my case.
Mmmm....15 minutes to go.

Yeah, well if you're so sorry, come up and take my place.
I got 14 minutes to go.

Well, now here comes the padre to save my soul
With 13 minutes to go.

And he's talkin' about burnin', but I'm so damned cold.
I got 12 more minutes to go.

Now they're testin' the trap. It chills my spine.
I got 11 minutes to go.

'Cuz the goddamned thing it works just fine.
I got 10 more minutes to go.

I'm waitin' for the pardon... gonna set me free
With 9 more minutes to go.

But this ain't the movies, so to hell with me.
I got 8 more minutes to go.

And now I'm climbin up the ladder with a scaffold peg
With 7 more minutes to go.

I've betta' watch my step or else I'll break my leg.
I got 6 more minutes to go.

Yeah... with my feet on the trap and my head in the noose...
5 more minutes to go.

Well, c'mon somethin' and cut me loose.
I got 4 more minutes to go.

I can see the mountains. I see the sky.
3 more minutes to go.

And it's too damned pretty for a man to die.
i got 2 more minutes to go

I can hear the buzzards... hear the crows.
1 more minute to go.

And now I'm swingin' and here I gooooooooo....

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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Comments about this poem (25 Minutes To Go by Sheldon Allan Silverstein )

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  • Bonnie Shipman (4/22/2014 6:51:00 PM)

    What on earth compels a man to write about the last 25 minutes before taking the gallows? It seems like a discrete topic for a children's author to stumble into. But then, it is Shel Silverstein... he can be a bit gruesome even in his happy pieces. I suppose what disturbs me most about this poem is that there seems to be no resolution. Forgive the pun, but he really leaves the reader hanging! (Report) Reply

  • Bonnie Shipman (4/22/2014 6:50:00 PM)

    What on earth compels a man to write about the last 25 minutes before taking the gallows? It seems like a discrete topic for a children's author to stumble into. But then, it is Shel Silverstein... he can be a bit gruesome even in his happy pieces. I suppose what disturbs me most about this poem is that there seems to be no resolution. Forgive the pun, but he really leaves the reader hanging! (Report) Reply

  • Bonnie Shipman (4/22/2014 6:49:00 PM)

    What on earth compels a man to write about the last 25 minutes before taking the gallows? It seems like a discrete topic for a children's author to stumble into. Then, it is Shel Silverstein... he can be a bit gruesome even in his happy pieces. I suppose what disturbs me most about this poem is that there seems to be no resolution. Forgive the pun, but he really leaves the reader hanging! (Report) Reply

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