“Dark Prison Ledger” by Lynne Knight

Lynne Knight


Nothing he told us was true.
But we wanted to hear it,
how we wanted to hear it.
We did everything we could

to get him to say it. He spoke
many languages, he cried out
like someone swept by the force
of veracity. So we put away all

our instruments. The rack, the bit,
the noose that had been
of use. And at last, broken
free of pain, his cries went forth

far beyond the unnamed city
while we stood at our windows
hearing the wind open pages
in the book of our shame.

Poets Respond
December 14, 2014

[download audio]


Lynne Knight: “What surprised me most about the report on CIA torture was how extensively and apparently meticulously the torture had been recorded. And yet we know only the broad outline. Dark prisons, dark ledgers.” (website)

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