I hear there is a fat skunk, all white,
who waddles in the yard folowed by two kits
the men call babies.
I hear about a pair of chipmunks and raccoons
that hang around the kitchen after chow.
A hummingbird appears some mornings,
a gray-tailed hawk at noon,
and at night, feeding on mosquitoes, bats carve
dark curves in the darkening sky.

In the windowless concrete room
where we unlock ideas from books,
I am impressed the men all know
each bird and animal the others describe.
They can pinpoint their locations
in the prison they inhabit.

First published in The Montucky Review
Included in my chapbook, Bicycle Lotus