poem: the jailer

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the text from the jailer says
need alcohol
so we meet at the bar
at the top of the hotel

you know he says
over his scotch glass
they wanted me to drug test my employees
so I told them
I have absolute trust with my officers
if I ask them to piss in a cup
that trust
will be

the jailer
always does
what he says
he will do

the bar is getting louder and
he’s telling me about a woman
an inmate who was pregnant he says

I promised to help her
find someone
to take her baby
and when she went into labor
my man I sent to guard her at the hospital called
a federal marshal is here and
he wants to know
why the inmate
isn’t shackled

the jailer drove to the hospital

she’s in my care
he told the federal agent
and I say she doesn’t need to be shackled

the agent tried to argue but
the jailer
took him into the room where
the woman was screaming
on her hands and knees
and asked him
do you think you can’t outrun her?

now the jailer weeps
I came in the next morning
and there was my man
wearing his bullet proof vest
with his gun on his hip
cradling that little baby

 Feature image: CC0 Public Domain
Here’s a 2014 International Human Rights Clinic Report on shackling women during labor.
2014 International Human Rights Clinic Report on shackling women during labor

Charmie Gholson is a mother and writer living in Michigan.

She thinks we should legalize women.
You can email her at okisay@yahoo.com
Richard Van Wickler began his Law Enforcement career in 1987 and has been the Superintendent of the Cheshire County Department of Corrections in Keene, NH since June of 1993. You can read his bio and learn more about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition here.