Monday, September 4, 2017

John Kaprielian


They sit in cells
alone but for a
steel cot to lie with
and slack-jawed toilet
frozen in mid-mock

They sit and pray
for exoneration
before it is too late
For witnesses to recant their lies
For DNA to open eyes
of prosecutors blinded
by fear and hate

They sit and wonder
how they got there
threats and cries
over and over
until it was all
too much
and they said what they
wanted to hear
just so it would stop

the empty hours
time bent and jangled
night and day
mix to concrete gray
solitary cell
solitary hell

They sit and wait
for death
just perhaps
without warning
or apology
the sweet caress
of freedom

John reads "Just Us":

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John confesses: "Crime is not often a theme for my poems. This poem was inspired by the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on Death Row before being exonerated in 2015. His case was in the news recently because Alabama has refused to compensate him for his wrongful imprisonment."

JOHN KAPRIELIAN, a Russian linguist by training and employed as a photo editor for three decades, has been writing poetry for over thirty-five years; in 2012 he challenged myself to write a poem a day and in 2013 he self-published the 366 poems in a single volume, 366 Poems: My Year in Verse.

1 comment:

Anne Messina said...

Excellent reading. You made the written word come alive.