Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Xylotomist


by Gregg Metcalf

In many a gruesome criminal trial
Expert testimony is often needed
To convict one so despicably vile
By a guilty verdict unimpeded

Witnesses vary from field to field
Each an expert in his own right
bearing evidence prepared to yield
A guilty verdict without being trite

In the most famous kidnapping case
Arthur Koehler was the state’s decision
As an xylotomist he was such an ace
He worked eighteen months with precision

Koehler provided the evidence sought
By linking a ladder to a small piece of pine
It came from a factory Koehler had thought
was milled from a broken machine at that time

The state’s expert presented the court
With a chalk rubbing of a particular sample
He proved the small piece of pine was a sort
As the one taken from the ladder example

The state’s xylotomist did win a guilty finding
Ensuring the execution of Bruno Hauptmann
Having presented evidence ever so binding
The Lindberg baby trial finally came to an end

Xylotomy is the preparation of small wood samples
Viewed under a microscope while using a microtome
It is the art and science of matching minute examples
In hopes of bringing the much needed evidence home


nashvillecats2 said...

You put me to shame Gregg, Your poetry is fantastic.


Gregg Metcalf said...

Not so, Yvonne. Your poetry inspired me. You are published, two books as a matter of fact. You are kind, but I think too kind.