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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Why Can't a Killer be Loved?

Why can’t a killer be loved?
When an English prison holds him fast
and tight, by leg-irons and manacles and five paces each way.
Shut yer pie hole, Monster!
rings off stone walls as the night guard raps his baton on iron bars. Clang!

Alone, our killer leaves clues
to his desire: the bloke wants to chat.
Hardened hands throttled life from a lovely, now softly tap tap tap
on keyboard to woo his pen-pal: must love rock and roll and have a sense of humor.
Should a killer be kept from love?

© Barbara Gabriel

Prisoners taunting victims on Facebook

Raised along Highway 61 in Minnesota, Barbara ran away to sea, living and working around the world. She curses like a sailor and loves a well-fitting pair of boots.


  1. Chilling and thought provoking. I love the line, "must love rock and roll and have a sense of humor." What would a convicted killer look for in a mate and what kind of woman would consider him a good match? Yeah, a sense of humor might be good, as long as it tended towards the dark side I guess.

    I also really like the hard sounds of the first verse in prison, of the baton on iron bars, compared to the soft sounds of the keyboard in the second verse. It really speaks of the power of love in a broader sense than the killer's quest for love. How all of us are freed from our personal prisons when love enters our lives.

    1. Thanks for reading, Bob. I appreciate your insightful comments about sounds and the theme. Happy Poetry Month!

  2. A desolate beginning, then I laughed at the line:

    "woo his pen-pal: must love rock and roll and have a sense of humor."

    It felt like a whiplash of emotions -- very intriguing.

    1. Thanks very much for checking in to Poetry24 and for reading my poem today. Glad to have made you laugh-- definitely a part of my intent here...