Don Out of Prison at Last

13-thompson

He chose to sit on the steps
with Putnay and Hamish
where the south window light fell to his left.
Not his words, it was his intense presence
centered the silence.
We always knew he was there.

Still and forever
the cancer that prison is
smouldered inside—
twenty-seven years
he seldom spoke of
though once he confessed to a fury
a cop had goaded him into
but he remembered in time
and stifled his rage

Another night, driving alone
down Central Avenue
he recognized near the Frontier
a girl from his childhood, stopped,
she got in, old friend, a hooker
now. They laughed, started talking.
catching up on the past, the present.
But a cop coasting by on the lookout
tried to arrest him. “It turned out OK.
A license was all I had on me.
No money.” He hesitated.
“I have to remember I have a record.
I need to keep a lid on and I tend to forget.
I could get sent back
And I’m not going back.
Ever”

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