A prison cell door clanging shut
is a sobering sound anywhere.
But here in Arkansas that tone cracks veneers
of time in a distinctive manner. A certain shock
that shakes out all the ghosts hiding in objects
will also quake what others take for granted.
The girls who sing in choirs and then kiss smiling
will fade. And the long afternoons of cool oblivion
will leave you behind, will go to twilight without you.
That door clangs like a crow on the Delta,
cracking the moon in a scream of feathers.
If you are young and different and found guilty,
if gothic shadows hang around your shoulders,
if you are found wanting, chained, forgotten...
infinite moments of the living dream will shatter.
And somethng uncanny will settle on your brow --
an injury that only a Job might discuss with you.
Things will get so real that any god would have gone mad.
The texture of humor and hope will stiffen into a leathering.
So...they now release you. After 18 years. Innocent, even against the law.
The world turns. Yet time is stunned on your quiet voice.