Killing Mr. Matthews

April 22, 2008
By Adam Snavely, Bath, NY

‘The ides of March,’ mused one Mr. Matthews.
How odd that such an undertaking
Should take place on such a night.

His portrait, hanging above the fire place,
Glared at him, sitting in his great chair.
Here was a man accustomed to the plush life of luxury.

Yet, as it seemed the night itself enveloped
The soft glow of the fire and the man,
The ever present eyes of the portrait burned the man,

Burned right through to the very soul.
‘Those eyes,’ thought Matthews, ‘Those eyes!’
For the eyes, as he well knew, had seen too much.

Eyes belonging to himself. Eyes betraying himself.
Eyes that were the lone witness
To his deeds; some legitimate, most not.

He excused his actions previously, naming other conspirators
And their corrupt business practices.
But every night, those eyes laid all his sins bare.

And still the eyes fixed their fierce stare
Upon him. The ghosts of his past
Scorching him, haunting his mind.

The clock began to toll for the midnight hour,
And Matthew’s fate was upon him.
He gripped the cold steel in his hand, thumb resting lightly on the hammer.

Already the bell had rung twice.
‘But you mustn’t rush your decision.’
‘This could change your life. Or end it.’

Five times now. Seven left
‘One way or another, I will change.’
‘Mr. Matthews must write a new chapter.’

‘Or the last one.’
This thought was a prominent one now as the clock tolled
Once again, asking of him a decision.

Nine. Now ten. Mathews tightened the grip on his fate,
Strengthening his resolve. He clicked back the hammer,
Still preparing, always thinking.

Eleven. But, suddenly, he wavered.
Faced with the moment of decision, Matthews was faced
With his own indecision, leaning between the two alternatives.

Twelve. Faced with that infinite moment, Matthews made his choice.

Twin shots rang throughout the house, erasing the eyes.

Erasing the witnesses, and in doing so erasing the deeds.

Matthews would be a new man.

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