One More Jack The Ripper
(Upon Being Remanded to Bethlem Hospital)
Whose words those were I did not know.
They came from one familiar, though.
Come along now. No need for any fuss…
Such spite and malice – I could HEAR! –
with every oath would further grow.
Bethlem Hospital’s a fine place, not too far at all. Don’t you pay no mind to them
that call it Bedlam – it’s just them bein’ foolish.
And to this day I am not clear
what caused the crime I speak of here.
If my response was a mistake,
it cost me all that I held dear.
Here now, let me help you into this here coat. Yes, I know, the white does tend to
show the stains, but don’t you worry none, we had ‘er cleaned since the last one.
Ties ‘round the back, nice n’ easy like…
Such tragedy, when we forsake
the one we love, and lapses make.
I PLUNGED THE BLADE –
though I now weep,
her life I coldly chose to take.
Off we go. Short ride. Carriage waitin’ outside.
What’s that? Mr. Frost, you say?
Any name’s fine with me, sir…
Once, words were lovely, feelings deep.
Her heart, though, she would choose to keep,
and cause me nights of restless sleep,
and cause me nights of restless sleep.
* One More Jack the Ripper is a re-imagining of a well-known Frost poem, melded with a recounting of the event that supposedly precipitated it.
Paul Pindris is a native of New Jersey, now living in retirement in Deerfield, New Hampshire. He has found that one of the unexpected perks of his new home is that it is in the heart of Robert Frost country, which – maybe not so coincidentally – is also an area with a thriving community of poets. He considers himself fortunate to be included in their circle.