The Prisoner

The Prisoner
421 A prisoner arrived one day
at Coffee County jail.
The verdict was for ten to life
without parole or bail.
425 The first few months were difficult.
His cell mates often raged.
The confines of his tiny space
made him regret his cage.
“There’s no escape,” that’s what they say,
430 “These walls will suffocate.
Constricted, breathless you will be.
Your life is confiscate.”
Well, time went by, and life grew grim,
then prisoner decides
435 he won’t be trapped by these gray walls
until the day he dies.
He steals a spoon from the canteen.
At night he slowly digs.
He scratches holes just barely deep.
440 Each never gets too big.
He started on the far left wall,
which juxtaposed outside,
then switched his target to the back,
which softer rock comprised.
445 Some years go by; the walls expand
a little at a time.
The guards don’t notice anything;
they only see hard lime.
Expanding cells have ill effects,
450 the prisoner soon knew.
The noise was greater from the back.
The left was cold as blue.
But he kept digging up those walls.
He never missed an inch.
455 The cell grew wider every day,
but thirst was never quenched.
“I want more room so I can stretch!
I want to run ten miles!
This cell cannot contain my needs,
460 nor to what I aspire.”
And then one day he dug too deep,
for light escaped a crack.
He braced himself, and then he gave
that thin rock wall a whack.
465 A hole stood wide, no going back,
the guards would see his deed.
He stepped outside the wall divide
and breathed in flowering trees.
His world was now so limitless.
470 His walls were broken down.
No one could tell him what to do.
Give prisoner a crown!
But then a bang and sudden pain…
A bullet pierced his back.
475 The world was spinning quickly now.
His life was fleeing fast.
The prisoner had pushed his bounds,
he’d bettered his poor fare.
But walls protect; he’d never learned
480 it’s dangerous out there.


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