The Gardener’s Almanac
contributes to routine, the screws quipping
‘life’s no bed of roses’—a joke
repeated to the captive crowd
each week, calming any nerves
about their lawyers’ visits.
After all, what good is ad-lib
when the straws they chose are short?
Donated books the staple, before
the rounds the pages fanned
for corner crimps or glossaries
soaked in spice—but time
talking books is what they crave.
A few read well—their crime
a weight offset by Degree, by night classes
or in-house at the factory:
for others, rap sheets spooling years
from truancy to murder, a sentence a mountain
big as any sentence on the row.
Jane Austen was here, library
castoffs stacked ten titles deep, but
Pride and Prejudice was tougher fare
than solitary—the lingo
too much like solicitors.’
Over the west wall, a drone
tries its luck—spot-lit from the towers
it snags the nets, then clatters
to the yard below.