David McLansky

(5/24/1944 / New York City)

A Riff on Gajanan Mishra's In Prison


You have put me in
This prison hell
At your whimsy
Here to dwell,
Not certain of
My discharge date;
I'm free to pace
Or sit and wait;
I live at the humor
Of my guards,
I spend a hour
In the yard,
There I see
A patch of sky,
The stars at night
I am denied;
I've checked the cracks
in the walls,
I turn my back
When dinner's called.
Facing away from
The Judas slot,
The food a mix
Of starch and slop;
Jail gives me time
To concentrate
On the hands of Time
On the chains of Fate;
I grow old
In this prison cell,
What is my crime
She will not tell.

Submitted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Edited: Thursday, March 14, 2013
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