Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Luke Kennard

THE MURDERER

THE MURDERER

THE MURDERER

I take the murderer for coffee.
‘Make sure you don’t murder your coffee!’
I joke. He likes my jokes.

Later I swing a plank into his face:
This is to stop him enjoying himself –
Which is integral to the rehabilitation process.

His mouth trickles blood like a tap quarter-turned.
He likes my analogies. ‘Hey, Murderer!’
I yell, ‘Murdered anyone recently?’

The murderer likes to play badminton.
When he loses, I say, ‘That’s what you get for being a murderer.’
When he wins, I say,

‘I guess you got yourself in pretty good shape
Murdering all those people.’
I’m not about to let the murderer forget he’s a murderer.

When I dance with the murderer I let him lead
Because he is the more proficient dancer –
‘Just be careful not to murder me!’ I tease.

The prison sits on the horizon like a great ash-tray –
When we travel I give him the window seat.
‘Hey, murderer, would you like a sandwich?’ I say,

‘Or would you rather murder someone?’
The murderer eats his cheese and ham sandwich.
‘The forecast is for snow,’ I tell him.
Close

THE MURDERER

I take the murderer for coffee.
‘Make sure you don’t murder your coffee!’
I joke. He likes my jokes.

Later I swing a plank into his face:
This is to stop him enjoying himself –
Which is integral to the rehabilitation process.

His mouth trickles blood like a tap quarter-turned.
He likes my analogies. ‘Hey, Murderer!’
I yell, ‘Murdered anyone recently?’

The murderer likes to play badminton.
When he loses, I say, ‘That’s what you get for being a murderer.’
When he wins, I say,

‘I guess you got yourself in pretty good shape
Murdering all those people.’
I’m not about to let the murderer forget he’s a murderer.

When I dance with the murderer I let him lead
Because he is the more proficient dancer –
‘Just be careful not to murder me!’ I tease.

The prison sits on the horizon like a great ash-tray –
When we travel I give him the window seat.
‘Hey, murderer, would you like a sandwich?’ I say,

‘Or would you rather murder someone?’
The murderer eats his cheese and ham sandwich.
‘The forecast is for snow,’ I tell him.

THE MURDERER

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère