You Can See the Prison from the Community College

In winter, when the trees have lost their leaves,
you can see the prison from the community college.
In the classrooms PowerPoints open like crocuses
pushing up through the frozen ground, life experiences
the class have brought to barter for their college education.

You could run a factory on the power of their expectations
when they come that first night after work, the kitchen knife
of second chances at their throats as they run their fingers
along the sharp edges of their unopened text books
praying this won’t be the next brick life is throwing at them.



Simon Walsh works as an English instructor at Greenfield Community College, Ma, and as a hunger relief specialist for the non-profit organization Food for Free in Cambridge. He has had poems published in Writers Digest, Willow Springs, The Watermark, Manchester Literary Journal, and Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont ( Vols. I & II). He published his first collection of poetry “A Kentish Ladin 2016.  Work from this collection won a national poetry award in 2016. His plays have been performed in Northampton and Greenfield MA, and his play People Different From US was a finalist in the 2011 New England Playwriting Competition.