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The Prisoners - Poem By Robert Hayden - Read Classic Poetry Online

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The Prisoners

Poem By: Robert Hayden   |   Views: 1903   |   Word Count: 98   |   View PDF   |   Print View

  


Steel doors guillotine gates
of the doorless house closed massively.
We were locked in with loss.

Guards frisked us, marked our wrists,
then let us into the drab Rec Hall
splotched green walls, high windows barred

where the dispossessed awaited us.
Hands intimate with knife and pistol,
hands that had cruelly grasped and throttled

clasped ours in welcome. I sensed the plea
of men denied: Believe us human
like yourselves, who but for Grace ...

We shared reprieving Hidden Words
revealed by the Godlike imprisoned
One, whose crime was truth.

And I read poems I hoped were true.
It's like you been there, brother, been there,
the scarred young lifer said.
 

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About the Author Robert Hayden (1913 - 1980), born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit, Michigan, was raised in a slum called Paradise Valley. Hayden's parents separated soon after his birth and he became the foster child of Sue Ellen Westerfield... Read Robert Hayden's Full Biography  
 
 
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