Tuesday, May 23, 2017

inmate interview

has anyone ever asked
              the men in prison cells
to trace their path ‘inside’ and the
          ‘allies’ that made them
do it?
was one ‘ally’ a self-loathing
             dad or mom?
was another a victim-friend
              you wanted to rescue?
or was it just the thrill of
                 the moment
and the chance to give your thumb
to the world, the cops, the social
        worker or even a rival
gang?
was there a target on your
                 back?
were you ever bullied for being
           different?
were you loved too much or
               too little or just
ignored and left alone?
was your fuse short from
            birth or did it grow
slowly nurtured by the ice
                 on your block?
were reading, writing and
             math always
a struggle
or were the ‘rules’ just
            stupid and too strict
for your impatience and your
       tongue and punch?
were your feelings crushed
     by indifference or
by rejection?
was your spirit the enemy
of your family and friends?
was your’s a scarcity of
               food, privacy,
fitting in, or acceptance?
if you could choose a thing that pictures
            who you thought you were
would it be a wasp, a mosquito,
          a soldier, a general, a
hunter dog or a house cat or_______?
 do these questions make you
              want to punch a wall?
what do you tell your young brother 
                     to do or to avoid?

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