Waiting to Enter a Prison

the sun
dances sparkles
along razor
wire like water
sharp liquid beautiful
gazing looking back
at white still clouds frozen
painted on a taut
blue canvas
held up by green fields
framed broken
in a thousand octagon windows
the silver web of chain
link interposed between
this world and the other
a click
and a door
heavily sliding 
open now
for me blinking
to enter
the darkness

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5 thoughts on “Waiting to Enter a Prison”

  1. This is a great poem IMHO, Richard - lots going on but not too clever for it's own good, if you know what I mean - and some beautiful, delicately drawn images. Clearly written from experience profoundly greater than the moment you capture. I love the rhythm and the shape, too - the journey from light to darkness.

    We've been reading over here with concern about the Middleton Prison Unit accident - has this affected any of your "Men in White" study group?

  2. Richard,

    A wonderful poem, very moving; one I appreciate so much.

    A few years after my brother was sentenced to life in prison, I was back in the state visiting my parents. We took the five hour journey to see my brother in the maximum security prison where he was an inmate. As we entered the prison my parents walked ahead me; I followed them into a cold lifeless room where I had to watch them obey a young guard who, very bluntly, put them through the security process. As I watched the pain on their faces, the thought came to mind, "This is not, as young parents, how they imagined ever visiting one of their children". Still, they entered the darkness often; even when too sick to do so.

  3. It's such a sad, sad thing. Middleton is right next to French Robertson where I spend my time. The populations and staffs don't overlap at all. But given the proximity of the facilities the emotional impact has to be huge. I haven't been out there since the crash. I'm anxious to check in with my guys on Monday.

  4. Thank you. Just a few quick lines I jotted down while waiting one day at the guardhouse, looking out past the barbed wire and chainlink fence at a green field with a blue sky above.

    I'll be lifting up your brother and family in prayer.

  5. Thank you for this perspective. I am in prison ministry in South Carolina and am still trying to understand not only the inmates mind but the world that he/she is forced to live in. I endured years of visiting my son every two weeks in a maximum prison. In many ways he never was able to leave it all behind. I now focus on the county system hoping that if I can know their pain I can better minister.

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