Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Glass is Sand

This poem uses a small inspiration from Henry Livingston's Without Distinction.

Glass is Sand

Every month, on twenty fourth,
I visit the town's lower corner,
The jailer there is from up north
He lets me meet a random prisoner;

The inmates welcome a nice surprise.
I'm a women, some of them gawk;
They do not mind my puffy eyes,
Nor the fact that I don't talk.

I pay no heed in any case -
I need only the visiting room.
I just need them in that place
In their gray prison costume.

"Visitors only in visiting hours,
No one else will see these gates,
Only Prisoners and Prison Guards."
This is what regulation states.

I set up to meet a prisoner thus -
We are two people on two planets,
With a phone cable that joins us,
And a wall of glass that separates.

I come to touch that glass wall.
(The jailor's a friend, he understands)
That little thing, I won't recall -
I come to relive through my hands.

I never knew that glass is sand.
Had I known it before this time,
It may have helped my innocent man
Who was hanged for another's crime.

I might have tried to slip it through
My old fingers, or blow it away.
I might have brought his rescue,
Might have caused a little delay.

But I never knew that glass is sand,
And nothing else was there to do.
Except watch them take my man,
And smile for him a last adieu.

This was the place I last met him
While a robed priest spoke of sins.
A hug or touch - they wouldn't let him,
But the wall of glass linked our skins.

On twenty fourth, I still come back.
There's a hope in me - half sublime;
If sand in glass could make a crack,
Perhaps I can go back in time.

If I can't save him, I'll make him glad
For one more day before his fall,
And while I dream, let me add
I would touch him without the wall.

The wall of glass is still no less,
It hasn't broken yet, but it may.
But when it does, will it confess,
Why it did not break that day.

It joined us so. It held us lone.
As water sheer, as diamond stone.
The thunder in me could have blown,
If glass is sand, I just had known.

From the visitor's lounge, sign a pass,
Take the second door on the right -
And you'd find my wall of glass
Made of sand but still upright.

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