Lock Down

Today I finally figured out that
My life is actually a series of days spent
In a cheap motel; drinking bad coffee,
Walking wide circles trying to stay
Out of your way-
But you've too many arms and your
Reach is much too long.
You're too smart and you never forget.
Although mostly I'm a fixture and others
Hold your main attention,
I keep dancing sideways to avoid you
But I'm always moving too slow.
I creak when I walk so you know
Just where I am, even in the dark;
Like ugly imitation leather shoes
Forgotten in the rain once too many times.
Just as some inmates finally kill
Their cellmate just for an hours quiet;
And the warden pretends not to
Hear the alarm bell go up
As the fire's spreading itself
Block by block-
My long-awaited freedom will only arrive
When they carry me out under a sheet.

by Patti Masterman

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