The new day dawns crisp and gray
in a trailer parked on the edge of town.
A sharp whistle blasts the boys awake as
the train rumbles by and their bunk bed shakes.
Dressing in the cold, eating cereal all alone,
they head to school by streetlamp light, Mom
not yet home from her nursing home work-night.
North of town, in a trailer on a farm,
Mike awakes with a sigh, a tear of gratitude
in his eye. After looking for a year, this factory
job seems secure. Second shift lets him play
both guitar and family cook, though his kids
come to eat while he’s away at work.
DOC rules prevent family visits, the boys
in school when his parole officer’s on duty.
Electronic surveillance and prior permission
rule his world, his resurrection.
first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2011 Bonnie Manion