Originally published on the Big Pulp magazine website, now defunct.


Those genteel Brits: So frightfully polite
in murder! Faking a rich uncle’s suicide,
they manifest a quite well-mannered sweet side,
when opening the door to the police.

Per’aps they fed the poor old duffer poison,
his stinginess sufficient to incite
a sudden cold resolve, a bloody insight:
“One must do what one must for one’s position.”

And so, repressing passion like a robot,
they ground up pills (for all Brit homes have pestles).
Not like us Yanks, who run around with pistols,
whenever we decide to do a “rub out.”

But once all suspects Scotland Yard eliminate,
the killer makes confession over a lemonade.

—Lester Smith, 2010

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