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Ghosts Over The Boiler ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By Darrell B. Grayson
Project Hope
Wednesday, Jan 7, 2004

Ghosts Over The Boiler

A hall flunky informed
The cubical operator
Of a man hanging in his cell.
I lifted my head,
As I was one at the time.
Eventually, a guard walked
To that part of the Row.
Preacher's death was like the others,
Nope, wasn't the first time:

It started with a complaint,
The kind fixable.
The guard manages every step,
He takes out his key,
Opens the outer door
Walks to the cell door.
He sees Preacher hanging,
Walks to the cubical,
Calls the operator and mumbles something,
Lights a cigarette, then leans.

A fat nurse climbs the stairs
Another guard passes her,
I continue to mop.
Eventually, they come out with Preacher
On a stretcher with a sheet.
I know he is dead,
It is on his face.
Like ghosts they walk.
The guard and nurse,
They were talking about buying a truck.
Didn't hear what kind.
Well I told a few guys.
They said:

He was a strange old fellow,
Tried to change cells.
One not over the boiler,
He said he couldn't take the heat.
I said, yeah,
Those other guys were fed up too.
It was bound to happen again,
But what can you do
When you're a ghost over the boiler?

Darrell B. Grayson
Alabama Death Row

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