Guest Poet David Miller

Last Rights

Those things I killed, some birds, a dog,
Will haunt me when I'm on my death bed,
Looking at me with such sad eyes.
I still hear them as they chirp or bay, 
See them Jutting and flitting from limb 
To limb, dashing blindly into the street 
After a dirty old tennis ball; they will 
Stand at my grave, sad, sorrowful creatures, 
Stupid with resilient, childlike forgiveness, 
And wish they could pick flowers to place on 
My coffin, and I'll be sorry, really sorry.

August, 1998

David Miller's Questions:

To the reader, does my poem capture the essence of a man regretfully looking back with shame on the sins of his youth, yet still capture the lingering contradictions which arise from a juevenile understanding of crime and punishment, heaven and hell, life and death?

Is it too transparent, too narative in style?

What might I do to improve the poem?

Correspond with David Miller at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop