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you don know bout it like i do

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Fin lives in California's Central Valley and is interested in social issues and creative writing.


you don know bout it like i do

was a time here when you could get

real fried chicken

and steak and sometimes pork chops

baked potatoes

with real vegetables and bread

and none of the staff messed with it

and took it home like they do today

he says

now it all goes out the back door

and no one is looking

and they wink and smile at each other

we come here they treat us no good like

The inmate who is speaking is a man with probably

twenty years on me. His voice is

deep and rich with a hint of a southern drawl

even though I'm told that hes from California - all his life.

His skin is dark and he carries himself with the confidence

of someone in his sixties who has been down many roads

and come back from most. He doesn't smile and tells me his stories

matter of fact like. I listen interested

not only to his words...

tryna tell you about when i heard

some talkin that i used to work for

i was in with the guard and he was good to

me and says to "watch out for 'em

because some of them

is like one type of family"

they all talk like theys southern


n------ this and n----- that

but then smilin' to my face

with their shoes all shinin'

and their smiles with white teeth

I think I understand what he's talking about

and listen to him speak. I make it a point not

to get too involved in the conversations. But

it doesn't hurt to listen. I don't agree or

try to counter his statements.

I am between the devil and the deep blue sea.

its like that in some places

on the outside even

i didn't always used to be in here

was a time i was sellin stuff

workin for a compny out in the sticks

near Parlier or someplace like that

went into town and theys warning me

already to watch it

watch yer back and such

but i know it

in here its the same

but one time i was takin'

the tools out to fer the vendor

and to this garage

i came up to this corner

and was walkin' my rounds

and in the signpost

they had it hangin'

up there like it belongs

just up there

hangin like a little

effigy it was


these clowns in here

are the same as there

as it used to be

nothin' changes

outside and here


© 2019 Fin

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