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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Tricia Knoll

Coffee Creek Prison

A dream after a morning spent inside a women’s high security penitentiary in a spiritual book group with women serving life sentences. We talked about Native American Boarding Schools without drawing parallels to life incarcerated, holding tanks, warehouses. Some of these women now groom puppies as service dogs or work in a lab to rear caterpillars of the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly for putting back into Oregon habitats where they once thrived.

the only space
where lights turn off
the chapel bathroom

Then my night dream: I opened doors in my old house for many young women to come in, find a room, put their plates on inadequate shelves in the kitchen, hang up their clothes, worry each other over being roommates and asking of them only that I have free passage through the rooms to put my dogs outside in the fenced-in yard. Fenced in yards, how inmates herald the arrival of dandelions in small lawns. Yellow, a color against cement walls and razor wire.

chain link fence
shadows in spotlights
waffled grass


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