After the murder, I called a meeting
to see if we were happy. I declared
I was not — I said I liked the man
we shot. You all disagreed with this.
I asked if you knew him, his wife,
none of you did. “Kill me, then,”
I said. You all stared at me. “Why,
Bernard? Of course we won’t.”
“Why not?” I said. “He was a good
man, a better man than me. And
look at what I’ve brought you — 
rubbish, dodgy tales, dross.”
“Easy to dismiss that,” you said.
“We appreciated it all. And you
wandered the wild paths to bring
it back to us — your songs, your
legends, magic stories, your gold.”
I thanked you, but shook my head.
The good man was dead. I didn’t care
what I’d brought you. I needed to go.
I packed up my sagas, my song lyrics,
my alchemy potions, my gold, and
I disappeared.

More Poems by Matthew Sweeney