Prison Blues

My son came to me.

When I wrote that letter,

I was inspired. I meant it

all. I asked for his forgiveness

and now he’s here. He sits

across from me. Touching

is not permitted. We talk

about small things, prison food,

the other inmates. Only twenty

minutes are allowed. I am saying

how sorry I am. The lump in my throat,

the shivery hands are real.

My son looks hard at me,

and smiles, beautifully.

His smile must sustain me.

He is leaving now.

The guard summons us,

and we file back to our cells.

Big keys jangle.

We are being bolted in.

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