Are these bars a prison?
Do they hold me back
In the black
The dark dank disgusting detritus
Of lost lives
Lost husband a wives
Who aren’t even given
The base dignity
Of being a forgotten memory?

Are these bars before me?
The lock and key
Never seen
To be seen
Or opened?

Am I in prison for some
Of mine
Long forgotten in the deep
Annals of a fallen Empire?

What are these bars
Surrounding me?
These twisting columns
Of ½ inch steel
Dance and weave
Before me
Over and under.
Across around
And I wonder,
What manner of prison I see.
What fractured soul
These twisting dancing bars I see?
What wretched mind
Such a thing?
Fetch me Deadalus, there are no others
Who could possibly be the architect.

I recognize some of the design
The twisting wind
And patterns of these bars.
I recall their names.

Lust leading to jealousy.
Pride to idolatry.
Desire and envy
Vanity and adultery
Fear and wrath
Doubt and self doubt.
Faithlessness and selfishness
And Fear.

Lust and love
Envy Jealousy Anger
Vanity Pride Doubt
And shame
And shame.

These are the bars of my cage.
No prison designed by another
Than me.
I alone have imprisoned me
And I cannot set myself free.
Such a clever cage.
Such a perfect prison.
A simulation of safety
Behind these bars
And I know it.
I see through this dissembling design
Through the smoke and mirrors
Of this false life
And still,
Still I’m in prison.
Bound and unable to move.
Who can set me free?
Can I be free?
Is there anything beyond the bars I see?
Is there only more black?
More bars perhaps?
It’s hard to imagine.

(This bar, by the way, is called hopelessness)

I like to think
To dream
That this is less than it seems.
That between
The seams
Of the bars I see
I might
Just might
Glimpse the light.
See hope
I like to believe
That there’s relief
From the pain
The drain
These bars have on me.

So I cry out.
I pound my fists
Against this
Wall of steel
And fear.
Against the bars.

“Jailor!” I cry out.
“Let me free.”
But there is no answer.

“Anyone?” I beg.
“Is anyone out there?
Can anyone hear me?”

And a voice answers back
Through the black
The dirty dark disgusting detritus
Of my already forgotten life.
A voice answers me and says
“Come. Follow me.  The door to your prison is open.”