Doing Time

He’s locked up
but you’re the one in chains,
anger binding you.
After everything he’s stolen
all the hurt he’s caused
all the second chances he’s squandered.
The audacity to ask for commissary.

But you see him lying there
on a dirty twin-sized mattress,
trying to lose himself
in the worn pages of a Grisham novel.
Rowdy gang members arguing and
throwing things within inches of his face.
Cellie bragging, his old lady
got him some rah-man noodles.

Your tears fall
knowing those noodles could mean
his belly is warm and full,
that he is loved.
But that cracks the door open
and soon a dollar becomes thousands
somehow.

And when he screams,
I’m not asking you for anything!
You almost believe him.
But then the anger comes back
to wake you up,
protect you.
It says
I don’t care!
You
 did this to yourself!

Then you see him clearly,
clean sheets
plenty of food
spending his days like a retiree
playing cards games and
watching Judge Judy.

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