Prison Strike, a poem by Tallon Kennedy

 

Moving chains
across sidewalks. Pots banging
on guard
rails. A noise made
to silence the police
sirens in the
distance.

Distance
is what got us here. Distance
from our ancestor’s guilt. Those old
colonial homes
still standing today

like a horror film
fed back through
again and again

never losing clarity
up to this day. Rainy
Pittsburgh, and another world
inside our world

that so many ignore. This prison
of brick and a blank face,
standing next to the highway

like a horror film
fed
again

and if you look into the tiny cubed
windows, you will see
the flickering lights

as if they are stars, and if you look
at the dark silhouettes
crowding
behind the bars,

raising their fists
out of pain and
out of tears,

you will see a person,

and the world will try to tell you
that you have seen a ghost,

but you have seen a person,

and because of that
you will grab a metal pot
and you will bang it
against the side of a guardrail
and fifty other people
will do this too
and it will sound
like a train

heading straight for the prison
gates, or maybe

like the clamor
of a factory,

where millions of people
toil away

for nothing

to nothing

until they are
ghosts.

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