Poets Walk: Boots click

Poets Walk: "Boots click"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 66

Writing in the Dark by Frank Judge

It’s lights out, and the night

fills with the sound of metal

and cement. Boots click

in endless empty halls that

echo muffled voices and coughs.

I've made the sounds a mantra.

If I listen hard, time and walls

disappear, leaving me to

write in the dark,

where I trace my thoughts

down the page against

my finger like some

movie critic scribbling notes,

watching my life unfold

on a concrete screen.

I write small to save paper

and make the words easy

to hide when word

comes of a shakedown.

I don't know if I'll ever

touch trees or see

horizons again, but

my words will fly

out through the bars

to freedom and drift down

to haunt a world that

wants to forget places

like this and people like me.

Frank Judge, "Writing in the Dark," in Approximations, CFK Press, 2005. Used with the permission of the author.