Paul David Adkins – Poem

When he spied the cell blocks burning,
the warden asked,

     Why are they destroying their home?

I’ll tell you why. Because you 

paid us for hard labor with change peeled from beneath bus station coke machines.

Because your Christmas gift to the laundry “boy”
was a carton of Lucky Strikes.

Because you were untouchable, unreachable.

You fed the Muslims pork. You gave the white boys ice in summer. Us, a cold Get lost.

The prison doctors treated broken bones
with a plaster-wrapped shrug.

         Why are they destroying their home? 

Because it was your present.

Author Bio
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.

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