Prison Birdwatching

Phillip Standin... - Posted on 15 December 2015

Jose H. Villarreal, Plantation Prison Correspondent

Editor's Note: Original artwork by Jose H. Villarreal, 2015.

The rays of light splash across the upper concrete walls of my prison “yard”. The sun so bright that the wire screen roof almost disappears from its brilliance. A swath of blue sky is stretched across its small patch like a tarp over the back of a pick up truck.

I raise my hands in an attempt to feel the warmth of the sun, so close yet out of reach. I stare up hoping for a glimpse of the all powerful Sun only to be treated with the periphery of its glow. As I peer through the caged roof I hear the chirp of a bird that has landed on the cámara that watches me. The bird seemed to look down to me, perhaps bewildered why this humyn being is in a bird cage. It chirps and ruffles its brown feathers that have specs of red around the collar. I see black feathers around its ankles and see its sharp beak.

This bird would fit into my hand, I guess, a melody from a living breathing thing. The bird moves its head and takes flight into the sky, but as it leaves it chirps two times, perhaps sending some sort of greeting to the big bird cage.

I watch it soar through the sky remembering the tail feathers and attempt to recall the designs on it. I peer up, my neck craned hoping to see another bird, instead I see the warmth of the sunrays.


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