In My Cell

(My Salute to the Dead of the Russian Gulag and hope it does not come here too.)

In my cell I quietly sit;

Waiting for the next visit.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

Pneumonia cough a deadly hack.

 

Peering in the warders try

The rules I know I must comply

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

Salted Herring and dry hardtack.

 

All day long we can only think

The crimes for which we are in the clink.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

Guilt for sure and that’s a fact.

 

They know the sentence but not the crime.

The walls surrounding me in blood and grime.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

The fly does not deserve a whack.

 

Why the bright relentless light.

I won’t struggle I won’t fight.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

No reason now to hit the sack.

 

In the cell my thoughts are free.

Oh the sight of just one tree.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

They kicked my ribs; I heard the crack.

 

In my cell and looking up;

Soul is pure and not corrupt.

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

Courage now is all I lack.

 

Footsteps pounding on my floor

Cups banging on the door

Three steps forward

Three steps back.

Heroes a statue; prisoners not a plaque.

 

Three steps forward and then black.

 

 

Kent M. Herrick 2011

My Salute to the Dead of the Russian Gulag and hope it does not come here too.

Kent M. Herrick, Editor in Chief, 2012

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