The Echoes

The bells of St. Mary’s peal,
shattering the glass ceilings
of dreams I put to sleep,
piercing the silence with the sound
of angels getting their wings—
a plaintive cry from the earth
to the heavens—
a tribute.

There is a changing of the guard,
and the rapid footsteps I know as Ritz’s,
echo on the dull linoleum.
The wails of the innocent,
bounce off the cement walls.
Those sounds are all that is soft
in this purgatory of iron rods.
Heaven, Hell,
or Heaven or Hell on Earth—
those are the only destinations
after leaving.

Ninety-nine years
a man lived,
having taken a life—
the life in these walls
who pays for his sin,
and the life he took,
who paid the ultimate price.
All that mattered was that
someone paid it.
It mattered not who.

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