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My Jericho
Whitney L. Schwartz (bio)

Each hurt, a stone; each imperfection,
mortar for the walls. They rise up
like Babel, to the sky, surrounding
my heart like barbed wire fences.

I pile on more mortar, lug more stones;
I try to make a garden out of prison walls.
This stone facade is me—it’s not! but
here I am alone inside my Jericho.

The raindrops fall like cannonballs,
breaking down the walls. They crumble,
like crackers underfoot. My stronghold
decimated, I stand vulnerable yet free.

The walls masquerading as safety,
really a cage. It wasn’t me;
the light shines better through
a broken wall, anyway

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