Poems

A poem by Reginald Dwayne Betts

A Cell Houses a One-Sided War
 
This old man, his hair peppered wise
by the cracked walls of cell B8, swore
some jail cells house a one-sided war –
and some men lean shoulders on past highs.
 
The cracked walls of cell B8 swore
broken men peeled back tattoos to cry
and some lean shoulders on past highs
after, clank! then yoke followed closed door.
 
Broken men peeled back tattoos to cry,
touched dirt as some wild man’s whore
after, clank! then yoke followed closed door.
Nobody whispered to guards that Black Tye
 
touched dirt as some wild man’s whore.
Name who is hurt by what they deny.
Nobody whispered to guards that Black Tye
now shivers for no reason, his body a sore.
 
Name who is hurt by what they deny
in court. Someone not warned before
now shivers for no reason, his body a sore.
Who knows escape is reason enough to lie
 
in court. Someone not warned before,
that some jails house a one-sided war.
Who knows escape is reason enough to lie:
This old man, his hair peppered wise.

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