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l. ward abel photo on deaddrunkdublin.com

track side : l. ward abel

stir bug shoulder

by l. ward abel


The West Central Georgia
Women's Prison detail
had their van break down
on Inman Road
this morning.
Ladies with cigarettes
gasper-signaling
stood
outside vehicle steam,
hood-up.
A sign they leaned upon
recited speed limit
or some such prohibition,
and it made our convictesses
snicker puff-blow exhalations
from Virginia Slims,
snickering at such absurd
misdemeanor,
snickering with a haggard tinge
of regret. The armed guard
was on her cellphone
calling a State wrecker no doubt,
going about the side-glance business
of maintaining lines
between freedom and force,
her chunky blue uniform
short thin tie
told its own story.

I sensed
squirms inside
their detention-white blue-striped pants
grinding from long withheld
conjugal contact.
I felt,
as I drove by,
blue green and brown eyes
fermented,
observed,
dreading
a single-cell return.

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