September 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Four
D.B. Cox
what we carry

too spent
to calculate the sum
of scattered thoughts

bent forward,
hands folded in front of his face,
like that sunday school painting
of jesus in the garden

praying for a way out…

just to be moving,
he gets to his feet,
& walks to the small
cell window,

where he stares
at the silhouetted tree line,
ranked like a firing squad,
along the river

somewhere close by,
a steel door slams –

grave voices echo
like old business
along the concrete
corridor

the group moves quickly;
each carrying
his own weighted notions
of right & wrong

one of them also
carries an official,
clarifying document
to be read aloud –

for the people’s comfort

another carries
a battered copy
of the king james bible

to be read aloud –

for the prisoner’s comfort

later, both will be used
again –
to explain
what makes this right…