As a former Marine, I knew the dangers,
knew I’d earn the Medal of Honor in ‘Nam.
I got a Dishonorable instead, and this prison stretch.
I knew I’d be famous. I never gave up.
I slipped word to reporters – There are
chinks in the armor, division in our ranks.
Other inmates saw me, seized the note,
tried me for treason,
banged a ballpeen hammer on a card table.
My cell was a circle dug in “D” Yard with a boot heel.
Before my countrymen laid me on the altar of a metal bunk,
they gave me water, combed my hair, fed me the only
unbruised Red Delicious ripped from the burnt commissary.
Paul David Adkins lives in Northern NY. He served in the US Army from 1991-2013. Recently, he earned a MA in Writing and The Oral Tradition from The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT. He spends his days either counseling soldiers or teaching college students in a NY state correctional facility.