The prison

From wind howling through a black brick prison
The iron bars are rusting, shadows of voices
Bickering under a sea’s collapse,
Salt cakes and corrosion. Sentences tossed
Into gritted waves leaping
The stonewalls, leaving empty cells
Tin white like arsenic; wet mortar,
Milk steadily for a tide,
Washes over a salt marsh, haven for a bier.

Black gulls dive where a black sea runs,
They know the bottom, they know the
Squall waves dancing
Through cellar windows, drowning inmates.
Their bodies snapped and froze,
Lanced by a cold wind;
Bodies and wintering left behind
To the filled-in sea sand,
Shipwreck planks as headstones.

Gray waves mulish, tossed at
A failed institution;
What a sluttish system could do.
Humans so battered, spewed relics massed
Into a dark prison, littered into
A rutted sea. Planked-up coffins rotted in a salt,
Shark jaws obstinate to a meal.
Such collusion with contemptible guards;
The red sea ran to the cell door knob.

Copyright © 04/04/18 lance sheridan®

The prison

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6 comments on “The prison

  1. Barbara says:

    Lance this reached out to grab me and a desiring to be read!! The images as you always do are outstanding and caused this reader’s mind to have varied imaginations – I found it to be sad but so real too – in a sea of waves, imprisoned for an eternity.

  2. There is a monument in Brooklyn’s Fort Green Park to the 11,500 prisoners of war who died while captivity aboard English prison ships at anchor during the American Revolution. Many of the men died of illness and starvation, rather than wounds. Bodies were interred in shallow graves or simply tossed overboard. Intentionally or not, your poem recalls the travesty.

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