Ode to the Man inside and the Letter he will not get because he was transferred to a new prison on Tuesday last By Hazel Kight Witham

Ode to the Man inside and the Letter he will not get because he was transferred to a new prison on Tuesday last

for E.O., for his family, for all inside~
with thanks to the poet Issa Kobayashi, for this world of dew

He who they said did
what he did not do

He who lost world and life and home
myth of freedom too

Who was brother and son and father
all the roles he once knew

He who lives in cage
for what he didn’t do

Redwhite bars, broken promise, false accuse,
and skin: what it all came down to

More than two years in
I finally write to you

Spin story, sing verse in inks bright
like morning dew

The losses you’ve borne
now this one too

All the innocence we’ve lost:
now this loss too

The truth? That letter
may never find you

My small offering,
small through and through

winds through concrete maze
imprisoned now too

Just like all the things we’ve
taken from you

This, just one more,
nothing new

And yet, and yet—
in this world of dew

we learn and learn again,
us hapless fools

not a thing is promised: not justice, not release, not freedom—
all this we surrender too

But know this now—
it may be true:

those words
were not just meant for you

They spun story, hope, poem
and awareness too:

that yours would not be the only
eyes for whom they blew

light scatter of hope
cast across ephemeral page, dust and dew

Perhaps—could it be?

Someone needs them more than you.

By Hazel Kight Witham

Biography:

Hazel Kight Witham is a writer, teacher, activist, and artist whose work can be found in Bellevue Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Rising Phoenix Review, Angels Flight, Zoetic Press’s NonBinary Review, Lunch Ticket and Lady/Liberty/Lit. She lives and breathes in Los Angeles with her family.

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