The Penitent

Posted by on Aug 1, 2011 in 2011, Choken Word, Headline


In my cell pacing
Eight by Ten feet of me.
One toilet.
One table.
One bed.
And me.
These walls swallow
mental capacity.
As I try to breathe.
I am a social animal
Kept in this box.
Taken out for one hour.
Putting my hands in a slot.
Hands locked.
Walked down in a trot.
Hands unlocked.
To do push-ups.
To do pull-ups.
A lot. It’s all I’ve got.
One hour in a room.
To let my animal zoom.
Here you earn privileges.
The privilege to read.
The privilege to be.
To have an identity.
The entrance a revolving door.
As citizens walk out
More unstable.
More uncivilized.
More angry
At the system that forgot.
At the people who allow
Others to rot.
They say
Be silent.
Look to God.
Be penitent
In this penitentiary.
But God has forgotten
About us in here.
He has closed his ear.
He has been blinded by
The bureaucracy here.
By the dollar signs.
By the corporate loopholes.
For we are not people.
We are numbers.
We are a budget.
We are products
Put in to bake.
Put in to fake
A strategy of reform.
That takes the broke
And makes them broken.
Most never again able to return
To their families for which they yearn.
Most never again able to feel
The touch of another.

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1 Comment

  1. Byron King
    August 1, 2011

    It’s interesting the history behind solitary confinement. Most countries have outlawed the practice and deemed it torture. The Quakers started Eastern Pennsylvania Penitentiary with the best intentions. One was to become penitent. To live the life of a monk with a skylight to commune with God. The first all solitary confinement prisons was Eastern State in PA. It was the most expensive prison in the U.S. at the time. Instead of reforming its prisoners the majority went mad. http://www.easternstate.org. No learning from the past here. practice as usual.

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