poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “prisoner”

out on work release

I had this vision I would bring
cold beers to prison workers
paving county roads
temperatures exceeding
one hundred degrees fahrenheit
bright orange shirts drenched in sweat

I had parked in the shade half an hour
before quitting time
kept the pickup idling with the AC on
beers in the truck bed
iced down in the big red cooler
ballgame streaming on AM radio

july two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

maybe someday maybe tomorrow

magnets inside bracelets
pressed against my skin
work their magic so I may
rise to the next occasion

ankles locked in shackles
keeping me grounded
green field of four-leaf clovers
shuffling to the dead man’s beat

sharpened sickle in one hand
club in the other
paving new ways for the man
hollering from the tower

locked inside precious dreams
all I do is count
day and night do not exist
prisoners of love move on

june two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

out of reach

he turned dirt into mud with spit
and gentle hands
nimble fingers changing malleable
clay into lifeless figurines

they possessed no soul
and no hearts beat inside to fuel
their starving minds

high up on a shelf they sat
out of reach from the many visitors
who called randomly
touring the estate but coming up empty
sent to find something inside
from forces unknown

that is all there is he would tell them
and they turned and left
disappointed but certain
there were prisoners inside the place
desperate to be saved

july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

up around the bend

in the distance you hear
repetitive pounding of steel on steel
hammer on railroad spike
near perfect in rhythmic meter
and gradually pleasing to the ear

workers form a line around the bend
like pistons rising and falling
each man a link to the next
rotating and following further and
further away from their cages

june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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