Pelican Bay Lights

I beat the sun to your town.

Watched the surf light grey the beach

before the cardboard kings began

sorting treasure in humped blanket rolls.

The prison's here. The one with

the sign, not some mental

restriction, or emotional

underbelly in revolt.

Guards, entry cards, bars,

inside, inmates await

family visits, mail call,

court dates, and answered prayers.

My cowboy boots click

the corridors, state issued ID

swinging from my neck

like Jesus on a stick.

Everyday is Easter

walking, like Lazarus,

from the cell block

to the concrete chapel.

Volunteer chaplain

fitted for a vest, meant

to deter violence,

while preaching Peace.

Angels hover

as fluorescent lights flicker.

The piano's out of tune,

even in Spanish.

The brothers sit

while I stand in the gap.

Our Father 

lends His Son.

All that is holy

is here, all that is evil,

available upon request,

same as everywhere.

The hum of a hymn,

the comfort of a known page

turning, the ritual of handshakes,

kneeling together.

Came to serve,

we get our name, our game

from Him. Play, pray,

'til the whistle blows.

The ride home, alone

but not, a chance to whisper

through the trees

and live, underground, like

roots.

 

Will SchmitComment