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The Cost of a Human Life, a Poem by Michael Shoemaker

I sat as an observer in a state’s superior court. First-degree murder was the charge. Cold-blooded calculated murder was the act. One teen on a sleepover was beaten to death from behind with an aluminum baseball bat. The teen pled guilty and the sentence before final plea bargaining was two years. The mourning wail of the dead teen’s mother rose far beyond the failing plastered court ceiling. What is two years? two visits to the CPA to pay taxes twelve tire rotations two World Series four dental cleanings two spring plantings how long I have procrastinated sweeping out the garage twenty car washes two work performance evaluations for one human life. I sat as a witness in a state’s superior court as part of society



Michael Shoemaker is a poet, writer, and photographer. His writing has appeared in Ancient Paths Literary Journal, The Compass Literary Magazine, Front Porch Review, Agape Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Magna, Utah with his wife, and son where he enjoys looking out on the Great Salt Lake every day. He is looking forward to two of his poems being published in the Poetry Pacific Anthology in 2024.


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