Release by Michael Healy




Each alveolus in my lungs

Is soaking clean air from the sun.

For just one hour I had been free

After that heavy door closed on me.

Gone the smell of prison air

Like the graveyard mists, who cares?

Outside the walls the chestnuts thrive

Extension of branches prove they’re alive

Withstanding the porcupine needle flashes

From thunderous skies the lightening crashes.

Never again will I work in this den

For me my action is decided then

I am going off home to feed my free hens!

Retirement at last!

I smile. I shiver.

by Michael Healy

5 thoughts on “Release by Michael Healy

  1. This is an interesting use of the eight words chosen for this exercise. I see an old lag, grateful to be released from prison to spend his retirement looking after his [free range?] hens. There is a kind of a sense of comfort about it. But the smile and the shiver beg the question. will such a retirement be enough?


  2. This piece of work, of which was the exercise give, for me has a also a hidden meaning of location. The ‘prison’ could be any workplace, family life, unfortunate environment- feeding of the hens, is a return to our own enjoyment sans others’ influence.


  3. I think you are right Joe. The line ‘Never again will I work in this den’, certainly seems to refer to a warder, rather than to an old lag.


  4. You are right, the thoughts of a warder not a lag, but how close those thoughts are so that it is difficult to distinguish.


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