I found this in my drafts, and have idea whether I shared it before. I couldn’t locate it so what the heck, I’ll post it, maybe again.

When the lilac dawn crawls up blood-red brick over white painted steel like a bruise,

its silver shadows fall first on the tall broad-faced sunflowers.

Even in prison,

yards of helianthus annuus bloom

And call to eager brown house sparrows,

sleek raucous crows

who feed undisturbed on the seeds

anchored at the sunflowers’ hearts.

As morning climbs the wide-open sky,

sunlight falls on beefsteak tomatoes and

green bell peppers, on the wispy tops of carrots buried in the dirt

Fragrant from yesterday’s rain,

on sweet watermelon and exquisite broccoli.

So much grows free behind 12-foot fences trussed with coils of shiny concertina wire.

Soon the gardeners will rise,

To pull weeds and harvest the small plots they’ve paid for the privilege to tend.

In rows, between daily counts and lockdown nights, the men raise their faces

toward the sun and for a few moments

Their unshackled minds flutter and soar.

6 Replies to “Unshackled”

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