as context

we were sitting on a concrete bench

opposite the courthouse

early spring sun warming the stones

there is only one way to survive prison

he said in the confiding way strangers do

half looking at me eyes slitted half looking away

oh yeah? I offered back half listening

you have to shut up & listen

watch closely everything that happens

take nothing from anyone

no gifts no favours no shit

don’t walk in all arrogant be hard as nails

keep your head down see how the land lies

before you make any moves

that sounds about six ways I offered gentle

wondering why he had chosen me

as confidant? fellow felon?  easy prey?

he looked straight at me then hard

working to put serious into his wind battered face

fuck you son you’ll do just fine

& as he got up to go anyways what are you up for?

couple of unpaid traffic fines i said & you?

assault deadly weapon assault police officer by two

as he began laughing all the way to the courthouse door

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