“County” by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider


I was in jail for a month.
I was amazed at how much fun
my fellow inmates could have.
Once a week we were marched down to a room
the size of half a basketball court
and ordered to exercise.
There was a basketball backboard
painted on the wall, but no hoop
and no ball. One time
the inmates started playing football
with 20 socks rolled up together
and soon they were having such a good time
that the guards ordered everyone
to surrender their socks.

I remember the stupid, pulpy hatred
on the faces of those guards
as if we were the worst
possible waste of human life.
I wanted to kill them, honestly,
but what bothered me most
was that no one else did.

Instead of getting angry
they just started
playing soccer
with their rubber slippers.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007


Mather Schneider: “I don’t like trying to come up with something clever for these things. I write poetry and prose when there is something I want to put down. I don’t like writing for the hell of it. I’m a cab driver here in Tucson. My favorite desert animal is the javelina, which looks just like a little pig.” (webs)

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