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#NewsPoet: Witnessing the last execution in Washington

Ronda Broatch

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

complicated grace.

Year started with KUOW: 2015