Bob Ward
Down the Seg

Come inside if you must
   accept the supposed risk.
Not much to see, is there?
Blank walls, cardboard furniture
   – the barest of necessities.
I’m banged up here for my own
   good riddance, you might say,
   since I fell down a crack in the law
   that’s becoming a cesspit.
Then a guy in my last place,
   having a grudge against me,
   put out faked-up rumours
   that roused hyenas on the wing
   – they’d catch you in the shower.
Though the system’s eased me on,
   those rumours followed me,
   the pack still on my trail,
   so, I’m cornered in the Seg.
The Warder’s got me a 15 minute
   watch but I’ll not be talking
   suicide – at least, not yet . . .

Just do me a favour:
   when you’re clear back outside
   breathe in some fresh air for me.

Note: In prison lingo ‘Seg’ refers to the Segregation Unit, where disruptive inmates are placed to cool their heels and th0se at risk go for their own protection.