Crumbling Prison

by Candice James
(New Westminster, BC Canada)

The skeletons I incarcerated so long ago,
In the cellular structures of my soul,
Claw incessantly, with long bony fingers,
At this moment of truth and a memory that lingers
In the crumbling prison locked in my mind
Where time and tide start to unwind.
A ghost from the past whispers and calls
Through gaps in these cold gray concrete walls.
I can hear the distant rattle and clunk
Of petrified bones in a rusted out trunk
Growing much louder as they draw near
My guarded large castle, my fortress of fear;
The dark burned out building I keep my dreams in.
Where there’s nowhere to end, nowhere to begin.

Each skeleton was part of a dream that died
A wish that ran away but couldn’t hide.
These long time residents haunting my dreams
Hide in the dark at the edge of my screams
Though I fight tooth and nail to set them free,
They cling like wool to me steadfastly
These cold empty shell’s take up space inside
Leaving no place for my soul to abide.
So I draw out my pistol and ready my sword
To sever, at last, the umbilical cord,
And force these skeletons to take their leave.
God is my witness. Their blood’s on my sleeve.

These skeletons I incarcerated so long ago
In the cellular structures of my soul
Have taken their leave like thieves in the night
They’ve fashioned their bones into wings, taken flight;
Flying far, far away from the weak, frail and blind,
And the crumbling prison locked in my mind.

© 2010 Candice James – Poet Laureate New West BC

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