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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Prisoner's Room

As the morning sun streams through dirty windows
the patches of sun reveal the cart of unfolded clothes
parts of the desk
the inside of the lamp shade
the top of the satellite receiver
hard to look at glints on the turntable
the front of the couch
a metallic camera next to batteries
the wooden table with a candle and snuffer
a Chinese miniature scene carved in wood
dust everywhere

All these things in this prisoner's cell
where the guard quietly sleeps
some 25 feet away
and yet I am the guard
and the prisoner both
who watches the branches slap each other
on a windy day
and the sun on things
never found in a real jail

So I am both
the split personality of elder care
who keeps the doors locked
the prisoners fed
the uniforms washed
the beds made
and the floors scrubbed
and all for what purpose
to someday walk free
to explain why I didn't have a job
for so many years
to end all this
to go to someplace else
and some other life
all unknown to me now
as if I'd just walked outside the walls
from the darkest cell
in the deepest canyon
that man creates for himself

we are our own wardens
unlocking the doors
for ourselves the prisoner
the sun on our faces
as if it were the first time
pushed out of the womb

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

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