#NewsPoet: Witnessing the last execution in Washington
News stories can be disturbing sometimes, but KUOW has a way to help process these stories.
We call it #NewsPoet — and it involves a Pacific Northwest poet writing an original piece inspired by one of our stories.
Today we revisit the story about the last man to be put to death by Washington state.
One of our reporters witnessed that execution in 2010, and that inspired #NewsPoet Ronda Broatch to write her poem "No Time For Apologies."
No Time For Apologies
I am too far removed to sing your song, too far
from the motel room, the threads you used
to tie her to the bed, the woman you met
that morning in an act of sabotage – her tire flat –
and maybe as we bumble through our lives
we appease the kindness of others and I
regret I sometimes lack compassion, even
in night’s stillness, for the brutal weak,
can find for you no feeling of mercy
you, gurney-strapped in the chamber’s sterile
light, and when you gaze in our direction I find
no empathy - for this, I confess I’m sorry -
no piercing longing to let you live.
Resignation covers you like the prison orange
jumpsuit, green sheet pulled up to your chin, leather
straps buckled over body, feet, assurance this
is it: the final act: ninety second life review
before the curtain drops, and we are left
to move through the fog into some kind of