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Poem: William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror
for Jessica Heather Martin
Fly Purple Martin Fly
The only thing purple in the
chapel, besides the tint of your
Grandma Martin’s hair,
were the flowers in the funeral bouquets
fore and aft of your open coffin.
Fly Purple Martin Fly
Some said, after, that your wings
were first broken at twelve,
others said you had a broken picker.
Last time we saw you alive,
you told how you were leaving
him, how you were moving
back to your mom’s in Yorba Linda.
Excited to fly again,
you and I made plans to visit
the Getty or the Norton Simon.
Fly, Purple Martin, Fly high
your healed wings soaring
No art museum, open casket,
so unreal.
At the wake, in your mom’s small dining room,
your brother whispered,
Don’t let my grandmas hear, not
today, it will upset them worse,
but she was murdered.
Fly high, Purple Martin, Fly high
On May 23, 2003
one year later, the LA Times’ sub paper
The Daily Pilot reported that he was found
guilty. 3 felony accounts.
Assault, spousal abuse, and
attempt to persuade a witness not to testify.
It came out in your trial
that twice before he had sent
women to the hospital by his own hand.
Fly, dip on the wing, soar
little Martin, Fly free
You got life. He gets
11 years.
They couldn’t prove murder
because none of the neighbors heard you cry out
as he slammed your head on the floor.
Didn’t they know that little Martins with scarred wings
can’t sing anymore?
— by Jenifer Hanen