Rivets & Toothpicks

Tricky, thick steel walls transport me outside, on furlough. “I’m fine,” I whisper.  But the ransoms, the victims of my new freedom, are truthful words, honest emotion.  They rail silently inside the steel.
Their frenzied sound absorbed by soft walls, bouncing away from the crevices. Laughing, the warden scatters toothpicks, quickly grabbed amidst skinned knees and bony shoulders. To be picked up and stabbed, splintering, at the seams and rivets.  “I feel, I feel! I belong to her,” they shout. “I speak for her.”  I look back, hesitate, but I have only toothpicks too.


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