I am melancholy
on an evening before pirith
reading articles
on Rizana’s fate
I cannot stop wondering
how she felt
the night before
that day
in that moment
was she resolved
it will all be over soon
8 years of waiting
for clemency
which did not come
was she paralysed by fear
her mind wondering on this and that
her parents, her home
her impending doom
did she ask
will it hurt?

I am not certain
her experience
terrifies me so
I would have died of fear
before the execution
but then again
can you will yourself to die?
Will your heart stop beating just because you want it to?
so you could die the way you want to…….

In the greater scheme of things
she met her fate
head on
severed and dismembered
Though she be
By the might of the sword
She surely diminished
Those who wielded that sword
By her humanity
Her vulnerability
Her plight

In that moment
she was the greater good
No human justice can change that fact

Sashikala Premawardhane

Note- This poem is linked to https://sashisspace.wordpress.com/2007/08/07/rizana%E2%80%A6/

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