He is the man who slept beneath the stars,
who gifted me the earth’s fireworks.

And the dance of tall pine,
and the grit of the land,

and the way strong men move differently
in January’s northern wind.

Now he is the man behind glass,
a voice delayed by a chord.

I have nothing else to say,
I tell them, he is not here.

And the fireflies are gone, too.

Heather Minette is the author of Rooftops and Other Poems (Blue Hour Press, 2013). She earned her M.A. in Literature from the University of Houston—Clear Lake and is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies at Rice University. Her work has been featured on Freshly Pressed, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was recently included in Texas’s Best Emerging Poets by Z Publishing House. More of her work is available to view at

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1 Response to Penitentiary

  1. Pingback: Penitentiary | Heather Minette

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