Fairhill Prison

I am sitting here in Fairhill Prison,
watching the guards jingle by in their shiny shoes.
I am O.K. here,
I am secure.
I have been classified, collated and rated,
fingerprinted, photoed and filed.
I am an examined, inspected cut of meat,
dressed in knaki and set in concrete.
I am sitting here in Fairhill Prison,
keeping time by the wrinkle.
I have heard black men evolve English.
I have seen white boys change color.
I have heard Puerto Ricans jabber like music.
I have met men wanting to educate,
or fornicate.
I have watched me do the Thorozine shuffule,
the leg shackle bunny hop,
and the commissary stroll.
I have seen men screw
toiled rolls,
and apples.
I have heard young bucks brag about
my gold n’ g money,
my benz n’ bimmer,
my cane n’ crack,
my ho’s n’ honeys,
while old cons sneer, “young fool”.
I have eaten mountains of macaroni,
piles of potatoes,
miles of hot dogs,
and all the rice in China.
I have seen men ferment peaches, plums, pears,
huff glue,
sniff solvent,
smoke aspirin,
shoot sine-off,
and swallow balloons.
I have played cards with kids who couldn’t read,
but played poker like a machine.
I have discovered wonderous ways to boil water.
I have seen roaches pour out of my vent
like oakies at a land rush.
I have had mice maul my muncies.
I have had a crazy little cat jump in my cell
and lie on my lap n’ purr.
I have looked in eyes and seen
the ocean bottom,
the beatific,
and the beast.
I have smelled piss, sweat,
disinfect, feet,
fear, lust,
and despair.
I never knew so many people read the bible.
I am sitting here in Fairhill Prison,
watching a damn dumb bird fly over the fence,
somewhere over the rainbow,
where people eat burgers,
girls wear high heels,
and going down don’t mean lock up.
I plan to land a big job out there,
I swing the meanest mop on E-block.
I am another number in mans’ endless refinement of
or just plain;
doing time.
I have killed time by the spoonful,
by the book,
hard time,
short time,
good time,
time slow as blood is thick,
time quick as a nightstick.
But sure as resurrection,
my day is approachin’.
And I’ll don my sixty dollar suit,
and I’ll carry my cardboard case,
and I’ll tote my trailways ticket,
and I’ll walk out of Fairhill Prison,
and I won’t look back.