A Patriot Speaks of Dispatching Traitors by John Toivonen
With them the final task came with such ease,
and subtle skill that led to enjoyment
that you could not truly call it a dark act.
I arranged with a clean, sharp knife to please
those who sought freedom’s liquor from a still
that dripped with the strange, unclean, red nectar.
The making of this flow led to a scar
in a perfect corpse. I preferred the second smile
that grew wide and gaping under the chin.
I made this swift, clean stroke of precision
the reward for turning the back, and the sin
was not in my hands, but in the wayward throat
that hurled false oaths, abused the name of God,
tried to sink a burning bush under rain.
© 2016 John Toivonen
John has published poetry and essays in numerous publications, including Roanoke Review, Midwest Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, Blognostics, and The Washington Times. His most recent book of poetry, Song After a Long Campaign, was published by Great Roots Press in 2015.