When I hear the sound of heavy heels
clapping against a hard tiled floor,
I connect it with the sound of jingling keys
and barred doors that won’t open
from the inside.
I think of the 3 a.m. drunken disorderly
and how they howl about their rights
after vomiting in a stainless steel toilet.
I Think about the small cell and the hard wooden bench
I think of the youngsters, or the first time gangsters
that wait in the holding cells
(and try not to cry)
When I see a bus passing with steel-fenced windows,
I think about the chains that link convicts
and a cold bus ride that once led me
to the underbelly of the courthouse
I think about the cages they kept us in
or bullpens, as they called it
because this is where we warmed up
before seeing the judge.
I think about the junkie-convicts.
These are the ones who are locked up and act like lawyers.
They claim to know everything about the system
they never seem to beat it.
I am reminded of the public defenders that swarm the cages
and the vacant faces
that stand behind the bars and wait to for the judge
to decide their fate
When I hear the sound of heavy heels clapping
against the hard tiled floor,
I connect it with the sound of angry bailiffs
and handcuffs clicking into position.
I think about the boy I was,
the man I wasn’t prepared to be,
and the person I was fortunate to become.
Sometimes . . . .
the kids on my block tend to howl a bit too loud
for their own good.
They beat their chests and dare the world
(Just like I did)
The police have been coming around the block lately . . .
I’m curious to see how this plays out