How to Act When Being Murdered
by Hal Sirowitz

My parents got me a dog tag
for my seventh birthday
to make sure my body wouldn’t
remain anonymous even if I was
unlucky enough to become
a victim of a sadistic killer
who watched too many
Freddy Meyer Halloween
movies and carved up my face.
The police would know who I was
right away, unless the murderer
ripped the dog tag off my neck
to befuddle the authorities. Killers
were known to be anti-authoritarian.
That was why it was wise, even while
being murdered, to keep the dog tag
hidden and not expose it by grabbing
on to it. Death wasn’t a private
affair. The victim had a responsibility
to society to make sure his body
was easily identifiable, so it
wouldn’t have to pay for his funeral,
even though nothing was cheaper
than being dumped in a pauper’s grave.


Hal Sirowitz is the former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York.  He
has been published in both of Garrison Keillor’s
Good Poems poetry

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 1, Number 1
(Spring 2006)

Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.