A sestina

The Inmate
(a sestina)
 
My parents, souls revering freedom,
took turns at serving as my jailer
to show me how constraints are rights,
thus molding me to avid inmate
at liberty within my cell,
this cell within my childhood prison.
 
And sentence served within that prison,
I sought another side of freedom
within a chalky kind of cell,
teachers serving as my jailer
while I listened and as inmate
learned still more about those rights.
 
Twenty years of learning rights
prepared me for commercial prison
where forty hours a week as inmate,
finding greed a gift of freedom,
I sat at desks with boss as jailer
and punched computers in my cell.
 
A shapely trustee near my cell,
enjoying new found female rights,
abhorred my lust and told a jailer,
my urges almost cause for prison,
thus giving irate females freedom
from the lechery of this inmate.  
 
So here I labored long as inmate,
and strove each day within my cell
to plunge ahead, employing  freedom
to lie and twist the normal rights:
to get a windowed cell in prison,
perhaps a less demanding jailer.
 
And then, at five, released by jailer,
I shuffled home to female inmate
waiting in our love-nest prison,
A cozy condominium cell,
where boards determined wrongs and rights
and thus controlled our at-home freedom.
 
Now Sunday’s jailer cites a cell
where dying inmates get new rights,
prison shed for heaven’s freedom.

(2007)

sestina

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