The Saint of Common Murders Makes the List
She couldn’t tell the truth. She was the queen of liars and at least ten people
wanted her to die.
He was cruel because it gave him pleasure. One hundred people wanted him to die.
She was very old and quite a few people wanted her to die.
She was just a baby, but so plain, born to beautiful narcissists who both wanted
her to die.
He was never amusing and often drunk and several people wanted him to die.
She was a terrible mother, with twelve children, and only one of the twelve
didn’t want her to die.
He was kind. Eight million people and animals wanted him to live,
but two million people and animals wanted him to die.
She cultivated a false innocence long past the time to give up on innocence
and one person finally admitted he wanted her to die.
All were murdered, and only one is not a cold case. These are some
common murders, the idea of confession sought or given, laughable.
Deborah Keenan is the author of ten collections of poetry and a book of writing ideas, from tiger to prayer. This poem appears in her new manuscript, The Saint of Everything. A teacher in the MFA program at Hamline University for thirty years, she continues to teach for The Loft, and privately. Keenan lives in beautiful, mysterious St. Paul at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.
About the photography: “‘The death with portraits of Giambattista Rospigliosi and Maria Camilla Pallavicini’ – gilded bronze and polychrome marbles, 1713-1719, by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (Volterra 1644-1725) – San Francesco a Ripa Church in Rome” by Carlo Raso