Some Friends of Mine
I’d like you to meet some friends of mine
women I write to
women in prison.
Last year I decided corresponding with them was a good way to continue my political work
being too disabled to go to meetings or to demonstrations.
Valerie was the first
a Cherokee-Chicana femme doing long time in Nevada prison.
An artist without art supplies,
she sends me cross-hatch portraits of her sister inmates
rendered with ballpoint on lined paper so thin it tears.
She has cystic fibrosis
at 26 she’s getting old
for someone with CF.
She tries not to think about what that means.
After all, she says,
no one at the jail thinks she’s disabled.
Her job includes scrubbing the bathrooms with bleach
three times a week.
I try to figure a way
to smuggle in a charcoal mask.
Jan 22, 2017