P a m e l a  K l e i n

Andy Dufresne, Prison Escapee
What’s it like to roll your jeans
after years in an institution, to wade
through surf on a beach that smiles
at the Pacific, to expect the salt sea
will wash away slime of strip searches,
lock downs? As if sand can warm
your feet, chilled to stone, as if sun
can melt ice from your twisting guts.
Nights, and the rumble of waves =
guard gates rolling, slamming shut;
random spray against your face =
the million jabs with plastic forks.
When you wake in darkness,
do you really believe you made it,
you’re clean on the other side?