Death Near Sirte


“Don’t shoot,” he said,

“What did I do to you?”

As if they might forget

The forty years they’d been

At his mercy. Or its lack.

But now he was at theirs.


“Rats” he’d called them,

And swore to hunt them down,

Till exactly like a rat,

Hiding in a drain pipe,

It was him they found. 


So now the sublime picture:

Clothing ripped, smeared with his blood;

His face shoved in the dirt;

The terror and humiliation

He had given to so many

Come round to him at last.


Justice most sweet –

Not in some antiseptic court;

He would get it in the street,

Perfect, pure, and short—

The fitting fate he could not cheat,

With all his stolen billions;

Not an eye for an eye,

But his one eye for millions.

And now about to die,

Perhaps he finally understood.

Tales don’t always end

The way they should.

But this one did,

And it was good.