Thursday Night After Lights Out

Image by Tayeb MEZAHDIA via Pixabay. CC0/Public domain.

Katrin Maggar tried to kill herself
Thursday night after lights out.
She tied her sheet around the bars
And the other end tight around her neck,
And she jumped off her cot as hard as she could.

The women in the neighboring cells
Heard a crash, then a raucous gasp,
And the arrhythmic kicking of naked feet.
They called for the guards, and two of them came;
But the night screws don’t have keys to the cells,
So one of them ran off shouting for help
While the other grabbed Katrin’s feet and pushed
Her up to keep her from choking a little.

It took almost twenty minutes for someone
To locate the keys and get the door open.
Katrin was rather black by then,
An upsetting contrast to her long, pale hair.

They hauled her off to the infirmary.
Two days later, when she was recovered,
They took her to the prison shrink,
Who asked her lots of the usual questions
To get a slant on her peculiar problem.
As if there’s something wrong with a person
Wanting to die when she lives in a prison.

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