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michael hogan

(July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)

Freedom


Rising from the tangled sheets
of a four a.m. toothache, and a Mexican rain
that charges the air and rattles windows,
I wish I could bang on my neighbor's door
sit down to coffee and talk of rude awakenings.
But his entrance is well inside
a stone wall, guarded by a pair of Dobermans
remote from the suffocating dreams of dawns
which never came or came only
when the sleeper was not awake.
Thunder rumbles over distant hills
out past the Periférico where the prisoners
heat coffee in aluminum cans
behind stone walls. Ferret-eyed guards
whose resentments shine like electric eels
keep watch as the convicts drink
in quiet camaraderie
and the shadows melt away.

Submitted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
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