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Contributor: J.K. Durick

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It’s on the sly, of course. We gather the tools we’ll need
All hush-hush, done deals and then we’re ready to begin.
It’s not as difficult as it looks; it’s not as easy as it seems.
Quietly cutting, nights are best, but noisy days work as well.
Scraping and grinding blend into the day, cause nary a ripple
Of attention; after all, life is scraping and grinding, one foot
In front of another, day after day, year after year, until cutting,
Sawing our way out of all the walls and tunnels around us is
All that’s left us; escaping, stepping, crawling out of the place
We are assigned, sentenced to for life, for crimes we can’t even
Imagine takes courage, a foolish unsafe courage; outside the walls
At first, we become strangers, unusual activity reports, scent only
Bloodhounds follow, shadows passing through familiar landscapes.
Then, we become rumor, legend, part of mythology, ghost stories,
A lesson we hope they will all learn from: escape eventually becomes
A frightening necessity.

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J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Black Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.


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