Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Fred Everett Maus: In the Women’s Prison

[This poem is made of words from a meditation group in a maximum security prison]


A woman meditates silently for two minutes, eyes closed—


Always a block party

inside my head. This is

the first time my mind

has ever been quiet.


A woman reads a poem about Richard Blanco and his mother—


Home. And home is not something

you know about, it’s something you feel.


A woman reads a poem by Greg Orr about starting over—


This man understands suffering.

Has he suffered a lot?


A woman listens to Annea Lockwood’s recording of the Hudson River—


We don’t have trees.

I haven’t heard a river

for ten years.

We have the big sky,

always different.

I remember

the creek by my old house.

I loved that creek. The river

we just heard, that’s

nature at its finest.


A woman dreams, listening to slow music by Mozart— 


I’ll get a big Jeep.

I’ll drive it where I want.

So good! I

haven’t figured out yet—it

has a vanity plate.

I don’t know what

the plate says.


A woman leads a meditation— 


May we all be grateful we’re

here, and not some place worse.


Copyright 2017 Fred Everett Maus


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