A poem by Ken Greenley

It’s the Amps that Kill Ya


It’s the amps that kill ya

When you’re sitting there

in the electric chair

Strapped in Old Sparky

Feelin kinda snarky

Waiting for the jolt

wishing you could bolt.


Too late

You’re in a 1930s movie execution scene

First showing a silhouette on the wall

Of the condemned prisoner (you)

being strapped to the chair

The executioner

Placing the electrode on the prisoner’s head

He gives the nod to the other guard

A big rough-looking dude

Who throws the big switch on the wall

The lights blink on and off

A loud buzz fills the room

The onlookers look on

Fascinated, but with the proper sense of regret

but you can tell they’re digging it deep down

Then all is silent

The prisoner slumps forward in ol’ Sparky
See that—it’s painless


You sit there in the chair

still imagining this

They haven’t thrown the switch yet

Your mind is moving so much faster

than the action surrounding it
Still alive and thinking

Still waiting for the jolt


It’s the amps that kill ya,

That’s what you’ve been told;

So you sit there

hoping for high voltage and low amperage

Fingernails dug into the arms of the Chair

Saying to yourself over and over,

It’s the amps that kill ya

It’s the amps that kill ya

©Ken Greenley

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