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There Was An Old Woman Who Worked in the SHU 


Grey walls and chain link, razor wire and gun towers.
I work here. I teach murderers not to dangle their participles.
Blue shirts and knit caps, across their backs
CDC PRISONER. Numbers doing numbers.
But look! Words blossom from their fingertips. Vines of stories
Twine out of their mouths, poems
Roll from their palms like fruit.
Stone and wire mesh, iron and shackles,
Up through the concrete come the irrepressible weeds.


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Cecelia Holland

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