Today's poem is from a book called Poetry Like Bread, the title is taken from a line of poetry, "poetry should be like bread, for everybody" this is also my sentiments. This particular poem is by Jimmy Santiago Baca, abandoned at 2 brought up by his Grandmother for a while and eventually put in an orphanage. He was part of the street gangs in New Mexico and ended up in Prison, where he taught himself to read and write and started to write poetry. As they say, the rest is history.
Steel Doors Of Prison.
The big compound gates close the world off,
Lock with a thunderous thud and clunk,
While bits of dust scatter into your lungs,
Breathing in the first stark glance
Of prison cellblocks behind the great wall,
Breathing in the emptiness, the darkness
As you walk with an easy step on the cold sidewalk.
Then another door locks behind you,
This door is your cell door. A set of bars,
Paint scraped, still as cobras in gray skins,
Wrapping around your heart little by little:
The ones you love cannot be touched,
Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day,
All seen from these bars, celebrated
With a deep labouring yearning from within,
While the cobras slowly wind and choke
Your mind, your heart, your spirit,
You hear nothing but the steel jaws close,
Slowly swallowing you.....