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Untitled Poem #2-- Prison Experience, 1976

    Common ground words
    fishing sports weather work
    take us through the hour
    (It ends abruptly with the
    sergeant's hand gently
    at my shoulder - another
    count is due, a meeting,
    routine, which a free
    emissary from the street
    cannot be part. I go
    quickly, relieved.) Only
    twice did we touch. He
    described his feelings
    at the shots which put
    him there. He spoke
    only half to me,
    mostly to himself,
    of home.

    Flushed with life,
    I must go back
    again to touch

    A mass of sounds
    mixed
    resounding against
    hard walls floors
    benches
    iron
    in the great hall
    A metal bar with
    hooks - one for each
    door, open now
    but poised to click
    as one each man
    his space defined

    I noticed the mountain
    through the bars
    of the guard room,
    above the time cards
    and fence. It's barely
    there between the
    grey buildings on
    the walk where
    men in green
    pants pass noticing
    me intently I think
    but giving no sign
    of interest.