The Home For Wayward Boys

Abandoned for years
and now ashes after a fire,
this is the place he comes back to,
to what once were cells

where so many young boys were put,
sleeping two to a bed,
as wardens snored in adjoining rooms,
and rats breathed down below.

A poke with the stick,
the kick of a stone,
and he can see it all again,
name many of them, most now dead,

the boys like him, lied to and led,
for they never went home
but they did work in the kitchen,
seldom saw family

but always, the rod of God.
He reaches down for a charred
poster of the alphabet.
With one touch, it grows horns.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Dissident Voice, New World Writing, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Lost Pilots. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the Seventh Quarry, La Presa and California Quarterly.. Read other articles by John.