Two Poems by Robert Barminski III


If Only You Allow It

Every moment of every day
I sit in my cell and pray

I pray you’ll see I know I was wrong
I pray you’ll see I know I’ve been wrong for too long

That’s why I would never allow that again
I will never allow the thoughts of sin

For I know my sins caused this loss
I fly through the storm a lone albatross

How can you ever know the depths of my pain
How will you ever know how hard I try to maintain

I abused your trust but I always stayed true
For I’ve never loved another, only you

I got the Dear John letter that said it all
I got your letter and felt my heart fall

Not able to eat
not able to sleep

You know I am devoted to you forever
I’ll give you shelter in stormy weather

Give me the chance to show that it’s real
Help me stop this pain that I feel

I cant believe you let another walk through your garden
As I read that it made my heart break and harden

Understood

I am surrounded by concrete
Not an urban ghetto
but guard towers and mini-14s.
There are no meadows
or mountains or flowing streams
or beautiful trees.
Pain and broken dreams
hang from the razor wire
and twist in the wind.

The guard itches to fire
his mind blank.
Forgotten people, he sees us as sheep,
his unprovoked hatred
I do not understand.

I can’t begin to understand
the depth of anguish a lifer feels
to know until the day he dies
he will never look at a free sky.
Although I walk with him every day
in the yard, I will never know his pain.

Lawmen do not understand
inside concrete insanity
is destroyed humanity.
Prison has not helped one person.
Day by day, hour by hour
they cast thousands by the busload into the maw.

Politicians do not understand
day by day, hour by hour
they cast thousands of soldiers and bombs
by the planeload into war.

Lawmen and politicians
do not understand.
They make decisions
with a snap and a wink at the cameras.
Somewhere at the bottom of the concrete rubble
is somebody.
It could be you
but it’s not, it’s me.

Robert F. Barminski III