A thousand inmates’ spoons for music
While the paper kite flies like a boy-weed caught

In wind from San Quentin to nestle in the next
Prison and the next. Do not do this thing,

                                                    The kite said,
But not that gently on the page of it.

                                                         No, said

The Governor, Not if Mr. Williams won’t atone.
Underground a pen of clemency irritates

                                      The vellum of the night.
There was a snag, the warden said.

                          So enormous was Tookie’s arm

The needle couldn’t enter it, eleven minutes poking
There to find the vein.

                                         Tookie was a big man,
The warden said, But it’s only salt that stops

The heart—you know—that simple.

But if I say “simple” for example, I mean

                                        That in the private gardens
Of our aristocracy, the animals are harnessed

                                       Or bled out broad by
Day and when they put them down,

The children are only very gently
Sad, a habit of the class they were born to.

Me, I am not “mean,” I'm told, only
Vengeful which is a relief to me, of course.

The wind is kicking up now. Lung for lung.
                                          Soon I will be done for.

On his last night here on earth, he took only milk. 

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