After the asking is ended
Before reason takes charge
There is the torrent of rage
Pungent incense of offense.
Why are we so greedy for credit?
Why not let it go?
Do we need recognition that badly?
Are we erased when our work is not seen?
She could think this through now
In the cold blankness of her cell
The rough wool of her blanket against her
The slight clink of the watchman's knell.
Measured time, measured pace, measured space.
The block was orderly and gray.
None of the upended chaos of her former life
Frenzied sounds and smells and frays.
Annise pulled the pillow beneath her cheek
Liking the tautness of the ticking.
She didn't pull out the frayed strings of thought,
Ignored the logic and the plot.
She would rest, gain balance,
Avoid thinking, clear her mind.
Was she guilty? Was she wronged?
Let the media sort out fruit from rind.
Did she miss the children?
Had her husband disappeared?
Was the lawyer competent?
She recalled the recorder's nail polish was
Four years, and they pronounced her free.
Free to what? she wondered silently.
She nodded at the cameras,
Straightened her blouse,
And climbed on the bus, headed for the coast.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.