Paul A. Freeman, ‘In a School of Transformation’ – Honorable Mention

In a School of Transformation

by Paul A. Freeman

I fix a mildly-optimistic smile
upon my face, which until lately bore
a tortured hue whilst in a pool of bile
and piss I lay upon a prison floor.

I sing a lusty, patriotic song
about our leader watching from the wall;
aloofness from my comrades all along
was counter to his strength-of-oneness call.

A folk dance for the cameras of the press
to show by my own will I do conform
and learn the mother tongue without duress
while day by day I mentally transform.

And yet, alone at night, defiance sears
the retinas of eyes awash with tears.

* * *


Recognized as an Honorable Mention in FoFG’s 2023 Poetry Contest