Haunting Irony

It is not that these women

Number among her friends

She guards her heart fiercely

Discloses very seldom

In an abundance of caution

Holds heartaches, fears and sorrows

Tucked beneath her scrubs

Hidden under loose-smocked shirt

Alongside a banana

Secreted from breakfast

Where she shared a brief exchange

With another early-morning eater

A prison conversation

Of rules, annoyances and transitions

Endless reiterations of

All the carbon-copied discussions

That happen in this place.


Hidden silent and camouflaged

Underneath these superficialities

Lurk whispering spirits

Brushing against her skin

They hint at commonalities

Potential points of intersection

Nexi of connections

Broader, perhaps, or deeper

Than guard idiosyncracies

Inmate furious frivolities

Prison food faux delicacies

Nearly imperceptible beneath

Perpetual cacophony.


Perceptual distortion or

Tricks of a starving soul?

Indistinguishable as a hummingbird’s

Individual flap of wing

From the flurried movement blur

Floats of glimmer of potential

Comaraderie that could develop

Were she not moving on.


Congregating with the host

A thousand other hauntings

She feels the goose-pimpling presence

Of new and sorrowful ghosts

Friendships that might have been

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