The law's been passed and I am lying low
Hoping to hide from those who think they are
Kindly, compassionate. My step is slow.
I hurry. Will the executioner
Be watching how I go?
Others about me clearly feel the same.
The deafest one pretends that she can hear.
The blindest hides her white stick while the lame
Attempt to stride. Life has become so dear.
Last time the doctor came,
All who could speak said they felt very well.
Did we imagine he was watching with
A new deep scrutiny? We could not tell.
Each minute now we think the stranger Death
Will take us from each cell
For that is what our little rooms now seem
To be. We are prepared to bear much pain,
Terror attacks us wakeful, every dream
Is now a nightmare. Doctor's due again.
We hold on to the gleam
Of sight, a word to hear. We act, we act,
And doing so we wear our weak selves out.
We said, "We want to die" once when we lacked
The chance of it. We wait in fear and doubt.
O life, you are so packed
With possibility. Old age seems good.
The ache, the anguish - we could bear them we
Declare. The ones who pray plead with their God
To turn the murdering ministers away,
But they come softly shod.