Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Social distancing.
A deadly pathogen spreads like infestation.
Is anyone listening?

Electric fences bickering.
First prison security measure is always isolation.
Social distancing.

Condolences heard in the whispering
of over one hundred fifty thousand in our nation.
Is anyone listening?

Nurses with cotton swabs not tickling,
And iron bars locked twenty-four hours on the plantation.
Social distancing. 

Man down while offenders are snickering. 
The elderly can’t scream for infection invasion.
Is anyone listening? 

Governors hedging with elections glistening.
While the death toll rises, the ledgers are erasing. 
Social distancing.
Is anyone listening?

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Mesro Dhu Rafa'a

Mesro Dhu Rafa’a is a contributing poet for Prison Journalism Project, who is also a writer and graffiti artist. When Mesro is not tutoring GED students and writing, he enjoys role-playing games such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic, The Gathering,” and writing science fiction and fantasy stories. During this pandemic, Mesro has completed an anthology of writings called Unsung Hero. Mesro Dhu Rafa’a is a pseudonym, which means “stand with the sun, master of the ascendants.” He is incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California.