Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Electric Chair - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

And not a single hair was out of place.
A face so stern and utterly composed
majestically he walked the walk. His last.
Let no one say he let them have the pleasure
to smirk or grin or tell the grandkids later
that 'Uncle Bruno' had collapsed or faltered.

The executioner was talking to the priest,
the latter was not needed, had been dismissed
and then a hum had silently descended,
all eyes were hungry, even cameras attended.
Those electrodes, attached to clean shaved skin
a crown of thorns upon his head, like Jesus Christ.

It wasn't really a switch as one imagines,
a stubby metal lever needed pulling
from A to B, the colour code was green to red
he had been looking forward to the deed all day.
It was the power and the feeling of omnipotence,
a bit like God, deciding life and death for those
who needed fixing, which you did by deeply frying
their faulty and deranged and so subhuman DNA.

It was his turn now and the priest said to himself
'the eyes, they have it', as the man convulsed
and through the glass partition one could smell the stench
of urine and of hairless flesh well roasted,
it took the better part of seven minutes,
which was about the time it took to kill the child.

Comments about Electric Chair by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (8/16/2005 8:13:00 AM)

    You've packed this with all the power and perspectives this subject deserves.
    And painted clearly our conondrum.
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  • (6/14/2005 3:10:00 PM)

    Very impressive. (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2005 6:34:00 AM)

    This is a subject I have great difficulty with. I would like to be able to say that I don't agree with the death penalty but when it comes to child murderers and abusers I know in my heart that I do agree with it. the poem was very well done and the last line had the impact it deserved.

    (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2005 6:12:00 AM)

    This is a little bit different herbert, i dont think i'v come across a poem on the subject, story yes many stories, not something i would like to watch even
    if my heart was full of hate for someone
    just the thought of it makes the hair stand on end

    warm regards allan
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: power, hair, child, green, red, death, god, children

Poem Submitted: Monday, June 6, 2005

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