poems by Tom Davison

My Yard 

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

My Yard isn’t anything like your yard.

My Yard has no trees or flowers.            

Only an occasional greenish-brown stain of trampled grass.

The early morning sun exposes the points of the barbwire that surround my Yard.

It glitters

Yet somehow looks beautiful.

Which terrifies me.

My Yard is two football fields squared.

I share it this morning with 800 other men.

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

Where I have acquired a unique and special gift.

The ability to perceive all the men in my Yard.

From 360 degrees.

I can sense who is following me without turning my head.

Approaching from my left is the Con Man.

His pockets bulging.

Full of broken promises and unfulfillable schemes.

His eyes darting from face-to-face.

Never still.

Just like his mouth.

He makes me feel drained and weary.

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

Approaching from my right is the Strong Man.

The one who never ceases lifting things.

 

He is forever pushing, pulling, and twisting his muscles.

Struggling to exercise away his demons.

But no matter how huge his muscles become

It doesn’t alter the fact

He is still inside.

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

Approaching too fast from behind me is the Baby Man.

He hasn’t discovered the rhythm of my Yard yet.

He was delivered here direct from Juvey.

He strains to be a tough guy.

But his eyes give him away.

I can smell the fear on him.

He wears it like a strong cologne.

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

There is a swelling crowd.

Striding on the blacktop and the concrete pathways

Alongside and all around me.

Like a stream of angry ants in blue denim.

They are all present now.

I can sense them all.

With my special gift.

The Always Angry Man.

The Fighting Man.

The Stoned Man.

The I Am Innocent Man.

The Religious Man and all the others.

 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.

I utilize my special ability.

I can feel him now.

He is coming slowly.

Straight at me.

The one they call the Old Man.

 

Also known as the Lifer Man.

Shuffling his feet.

Rarely gazing upward.

Instead, staring downward at the top of his scruffy prison shoes.

Mumbling to himself continuously

About the poor decisions that brought him here.

 

He is so near to me now.

Coming closer and closer.

With each step I take.

 

He matches my pace.

Step for step.

He should break away.

He is too close.

Now he is just inches from my face.

I could reach out and touch him.

No wait, it is only my reflection in the glass.

 

My House 

 

Out in the Yard

I walked by the Weight-Lifting Man today.

The one who is constantly pulling, pounding, and grunting.

He stretches his muscles

Until they become huge and distorted.

He uses them on the Inside

He uses them to intimidate people.

I asked him

Did he know that no matter how big his muscles became?

He would always remain a felon and a convict like the rest of us here?

He looked at me with such hatred

He cursed at me

He called me bad names.

I dream about a chance to hurt this Weight-Lifting Man.

I create things in my mind I would to do to him

When I am free

Back in the World.

Don’t you worry about me 

My brothers and sisters 

It’s just another day in my House! 

 

The Corrections Officer

You know the one I mean

The permanently angry one?

He caught me leaving Chow today

With an extra apple in my pocket.

The food here

Most of it comes in bags and boxes stamped

For Animal Consumption Only.

The C.O. and his Friend took me to that place

The one with no cameras watching.

 

They threw me to the ground

They kicked me and beat me

Laughing the whole time.

I dream about a chance to hurt this angry little man.

I create things in my mind I would to do to him

When I am free

Back in the World.

Don’t you worry about me 

My brothers and sisters 

It’s just another day in my House 

 

Today my Bunkie thought it would be truly funny

To take a crap on my bed.

Last week he ejaculated on it

The week before he pissed

The place where I rest my head.

I wanted to hurt him

But if I did

They would take me back to solitary

So – I said nothing.

He makes me so angry

I feel like a clock that is ticking down

Down to what?

I don’t know

I dream about a chance to hurt my Bunkie.

I create things in my mind I would to do to him

When I am free

Back in the world.

Don’t you worry about me 

My brothers and sisters 

It’s just another day in my House! 

 

I could feel my soul dying a little more today

It made me want to hurt someone

Anyone.

Not my Bunkie

Or the C.O.

Or his Friend

Or the Weight-Lifting Man from the Yard.

Someone smaller than me

Someone weaker

Someone who would be afraid to tell,

But I will do nothing

About my thoughts

Because Solitary makes my head hurt.

Don’t you worry about me 

My brothers and sisters 

It’s just another day in my House! 

 

I survived another day

In a few months I will be a free man

I will complete my sentence.

My Rehabilitation will be completed

And then I can hardly wait to share what I have learned,

What I have been taught on the Inside

With everyone out there

In the Real World.

Don’t you worry about me 

My brothers and sisters 

It’s just another day in my House! 

 

 

 

One More Day

  

I pierce the gates- I see the sun rising on walls- fences- and dying dreams.

I know these men now- I can perceive this place clearly- through eyes wide open

The effects of the broken long arm of the law- suffocates this place.

 

I know these men now- I can attend their cry, “How long must I abide in this place?”                    I respond to them calmly- declaring, “Hold on- nothing lasts forever!”
As I tread through the yard- a maze of anger- waste- and deceptive schemes

.

I know these men now- I can attend their cry,  “I am so alone- I do not feel like myself?”
I respond to them calmly- declaring, “Hold onthere is still much good in the world!”
It constantly feels cold in this place- it permanently smells of piss- and dead passions.

 

I know these men now- I can attend their cry, “Can I watch it all burn?”
I respond to them calmly- declaring, “Hold ondo not surrender- hope is eternal!” 

I leave this place at the end of my brief day- while others must remain bound.

 

I know these men now- I attend the untold places in my heart- where sincerity persists.

My dread- all is only a shell of hollow platitudes, “Tomorrow it will start over again?”

I respond to myself calmly- declaring, “Hold on- for one more day!”

 

 

 

Choices 

 

The Preacher comes to visit once a week- passing through the gates and barbed wire.

He wants to speak with me- about the poor Choices I have made- that put me here.

I said we all make mistakes.

He should believe in redemption- second chances.

He gets angry- tells me that I am responsible for my Choices.

Not him- not society.

I tell him I believe him.

Therefore, after today- I Choose never to meet with him again!

 

The Lady from the community college comes to educate me

She wants to ‘give back’.

She believes that I am here for my own good- that I need rehabilitated- corrected.

I explain to her that the long arm of the law is broken.

I really am here to be punished.

She gets angry

Tells me I am ignorant and illiterate- that I Choose to be this way.

I tell her I believe her

Therefore, after today- I Choose never to meet with her again!

 

My Lawyer came to visit me- to prepare for a judicial.

A slim possibility of leaving this place.

He says that I can improve my chances for an early release- by making better Choices.

Like seeing the Preacher- the education Lady.

I told him I Choose never to see them again.

He gets angry with me.

I am Choosing to be a bad client- I don’t deserve his pro-bono services.

I tell him I believe him

Therefore, after today- I Choose never to meet with him again!

 

I Choose to serve the remainder of my term

After serving two dimes- twenty years.

I must serve- life without parole.

I still can Choose for myself.

Life without the Preacher.

Life without the education Lady.

Life without my Lawyer.

I can Choose what my own prison will be- for my remaining time.

They will all learn to respect me.

I Choose.

Not them.

Me.

I Choose.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.