Lime School

The Last Time I Saw Poe

Emil Sayahi
Sandra Dunstan-Hoover
AP English Language and Composition
06 September 2019

The Last Time I Saw Poe

  How do I begin? I’m not all that great at telling stories, anyhow, and I’m certainly not good at writing them either! Thirty-four years, and I’m still no better at it. But, I figured, y’know, I must tell about Poe. After all, as one of the very few men to see him in his last days, I have an obligation to inform the public!
  It was election day. I was voting at Ryan’s Tavern, fourth ward polls. Poe was there, very tired and emotional, needing assistance. He had no clue who to vote for, that feller! His stench pierced the depths of my nose—I could feel the hairs twitching in discomfort! Henry R. Reynolds, the poll overseer, pulled him aside. Not only was the man a pain to the senses, but he wasn’t going to vote the right way anyhow. He needed some sense talked into him.
  Although, I’m still confused. He was a Son of Temperance, surely he couldn’t be a drunk? It wouldn’t surprise me if he were such a hypocrite. The man’s wickedness stole Frances from me. I saw him after an uncomfortably long amount of time. I hated the man but even I began to worry. When I saw him, I did not see him looking back. His eyes had lost all soul, left gray and dull as if he were a dead man staring back at me. He was wearing another man’s clothes: a poked-up straw hat, ridden with so many holes it hardly constituted a hat anymore, a sad old coat, and shoes so worn-down it was almost comical. That’s when I told Moran to take him to the hospital.
  I sat beside him, trying for answers. When he was awake, he only stared. At me, the walls, his bed, anything, with his dirty face and spaghetti noodle hair. I only ever got a few words out of him.
  “Poe?”
  “Where’s my wife? In Richmond?”
  “You don’t have a wife, Edgar.”
  “Reynolds!”
  I tried to calm him.
  “Poe, you’ll be in the company of friends soon.”
  “I don’t want any damn visitors! The only thing I’d want from them is to lodge a bullet right into my skull.”
  Nobody ever had to. He died on the seventh, still in that bed. His belongings were found at the Swan Tavern in Richmond. Oh, what a death! What a romantic ending to a man so deserving of it! My friend, you’d deserved all that’d come to you. Succumbing to your own vices like the pig you were, I say goodbye old friend. May the Lord help your poor soul.


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