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Thursday, April 03, 2014


by David Southward

PRETORIA, South Africa — Listening to the prosecution lay out its case against him at his murder trial over the past month, Oscar Pistorius could not keep silent, or still. He sobbed, prayed, threw up, buried his face in his hands and covered his ears, a response to the graphic and upsetting evidence, and, perhaps, to the grim reality of his own changed circumstances.
     But through all the testimony — about the lethally expanding bullets he kept in his gun; about the horrific wounds suffered by the victim, his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp; about his own mercurial temperament, obsession with firearms and irrationally jealous nature — Mr. Pistorius, the world’s most famous Paralympic athlete, has not spoken in his own defense.
     That will most likely change on Monday, when the case resumes after a weeklong recess and Mr. Pistorius is expected to take the stand. And though he has already provided the court with a written account of how, he says, he shot Ms. Steenkamp because he mistook her for an intruder, his testimony will be crucial as he tries to rebut the prosecution’s case: that he killed her in a violent rage as the two argued late into the night. --NY Times, April 2, 2014
Image source: M&G Live Blogs

Oscar Pistorius
bolts for the glorious
on his boomerang heels.
Crowds at the starting line
gasp as Pretoria's
gallantly kneels.

Off goes the pistol!
The crowd leaps, uproarious,
watching the sprinter
break free . . .
scarcely imagining
what a victorious
the sprinter could be.

Now that his haste
has occasioned the goriest
to a Valentine's Day,
and he's mustered the sorriest
look that a boyfriend
of any dead girl
could display,

will Oscar explain
how he found it uxorious—-
heeding a woman's
When the crowd stands aghast
at how feeble his story is,
Oscar may know
how she feels.

David Southward teaches in the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  His partner Geoff and dog Sammy patiently await his discovery by a wider audience.