counting blessings
by scott from jail

This jail cell I sit in is clean.
The echoes of the rooms around me are not too bad.
The paint is new and fresh, not sordid and dingy.
The windows of five verticle sheets of plastic look out onto the asphalt lot
behind which is the mountain and at noon the sun is barely visible, but there.
The guards are quiet and decent.
The other inmates are here for good reasons, and I respect them.
The judge will be found to be a liar sooner or later.
The young boy down the block who murdered the prison guard will be understood for who he is, and not executed.
The lies our lawyer tells will be exposed.
The cot I lie on each night is safe.
The urinal is bright and its shiny aluminum is clean and modern.
The mirror of some sort of polished metal keeps away vanity, and makes the very act of self-concern stupid, warped and ubiquitously selfish.
The space outside my cell, the lunch room, is ample.
The child molester, grinning sickly at everything, will be found out and taken somewhere else.
I am deep in prayer always, more so than at any time prior to this in my life I believe.
I have begun writing poetry.
I have a type writer.
I have poetry to write.
We have a deck of cards and can play Gin Rummy all we want.
The white bread sandwiches are not awful.
We are alive and breathing.
It is not too bad in here.
The hearing did not go too badly.
In the future we will be glorified in a fit of God's willing wrath, showing that we are right and they are wrong.
We are not alone here, but together, in a strident calming hum.
We are not alone here.
We are waiting for something and this is where we wait, in this jail cell.
We do not know what we are waiting for, but we are here together.
We are not guilty.
We are completely innocent.
With every poem written, with every syllable filling the space, we are not alone, but true to something deeper.
Our dreams are even more searching than before.
We are alive with something, however remote it seems.
We will be vindicated.
The search for something is a part of this jail, this white painted cellblock cinder block.
We have friends.
We see each other at our most boring and tiredly tedious.
We can do this.
We can count our blessings.
These blessings are all we have.
But it is enough.
The blue freedom of the stream, almost running uphill with joy, when we went down the mountain,
and the green neon grass of the suddenly mystical everything,
and the way the air smelled for just a half day
and the way sound travels when you are not cooped up
and the way hair feels in the blowing, real wind
and the way a seat feels when it is not metal
and the way the truck feels when it moves across the miles of magical roadway
and the way the jerking of the truck feels as the space around you moves
and the way the ceiling of the truck looks as it jiggles along with you
and the way the jail looks from the outside
and the small courage it takes to go back into it after just a breath of air
and motion, and sun, and hope, and waiting in the pure energy of fury
and the time it takes to see the guards see joy in your face having removed it
and the silence of your cell as the door closes.
somehow these are blessings too.
they are counted. in small letters. because these small letters are the smallest of the blessings.
with them, I touch you.
it is a small touch, I know.
but it is touch.

Copyright © 2013 - scott from jail
Published: 11/28/13   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem