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l. ward abel photo on

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
outside vehicle steam,
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
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
a single-cell return.



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