Spring Wildflowers for an Executed Man by George Longenecker

For Robert Nelson Drew #755,

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

 Executed August 2, 1994, Huntsville, TX


Take a star flower, Robert, and ride

its petals above the prison where they

killed you. Pick golden thread

and sew together your heart.

Pick the mayflower and let its white petals

blossom each year for what might

have been. Take the lady’s slippers and fit

them to your love—

dance Robert with your love

in her slippers and violet gown

out of metal doors and prison halls,

dance away from death. 


Bob, I will look in your eyes

again as I did the night you died

and I will place iris petals in your chill hands.

You will blossom in spring from cold tubers. 

Robert, grasp a star flower and fly in its petals

high over razor wire and prison walls,

fly far from this prison where no flowers bloom

to the woods you wandered as a boy, 

rest there on the forest carpet

where spring flowers grow wild.