A Daily Pardon

Shrill and alarming the morning starts

With pre-loaded sounds screamed from tiny speakers

I stumble though the same motions I did yesterday

The day before, and the one before that

More automaton than man

I ride a steel beast through streets of noise

Dodging danger and accidents, on hostile roads

And yet at the same time I’m numb and distant

Listening to those same tiny speakers

This time pumping out words on pointless subjects

Or a cacophony of music to enjoy


Arriving at my financially motivated, yet self-imposed prison

The walls are not of concrete or barbed wire

Instead simple, dull, gray cubed constructions

Their walls high enough so that I can barely see the other prisoners

Yet low enough that the prisoners of slightly higher station can keep eyes on me


Small bright, colorful pieces of plastic adorn my prison

Little icons of pop culture that I use to trick myself

Pretend that I can have an impact on these walls

That my meager existence here would not be filled immediately

If I were to leave or move on that they would not soon find another occupant


My fellow prisoners and I stare straight ahead

This time privately listening to those tiny speakers

Not speaking, never making real contact

Staring into the constant glow of a window into pointless data

Pushing through tasks without real meaning that have no real impact on the world

Watching a clock that seems not to move as I anticipate release

Finally my hour of deliverance comes and I flee

I choose a freedom, and revel in that freedom I know can’t last


I make my way back to my home

And I open my door to pattering feet

Little arms fling wide, and a child leaps at me

For they know I will catch them

With no restraint, with pure joy and love

The voice cries “Daddy!”

I am loved

I am home


And I know then I shall serve my sentence

Would serve a thousand years of that sentence

Because they are worth it

Though a return to my cell is imminent

It is not this moment

I smile, enter, and close the door

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