Outside the bars sunrise flashes an indelicate orange-yellow. Birds cheer- up the advent of day, take wing grasping manners of clouds once sequestered in the night sky.
In my cell, mindless of fluorescent “day,” my self drags, somnambulant, through gloom – ever night. Ever night.
A family of Sandhills promenade past the bars of our back fence. They pause to converse with inmates – urge flight. Ancient, primitive they know better than to build for themselves. They know instinctively the boon of liberty.
As daylight dies I return to the wings I’m making out of hours and shortening of breath. My workbench is a classroom, my tools my frustration. A timesheet keeps watch, a laptop for restraints August through June…Devil’s Island, Alcatraz. The Sandhills just brought me a birthday cake.
Then the dragonfly flew, squaring the corner, came up the ramp toward the door of the portable classroom — a low, hovering student enrolled.
She pivoted suddenly, shunning my handshake and greeting; sharp corner before flying back over the sidewalk. She measured the smooth cement squares length by width, squaring her corners to match the edges and cracks between the regular, regimental slabs.
Settling in the sun, stunning emerald and gold, pondering our angles —