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To Ask Why2
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They were the unwanted children who grew up to be unwanted adults. They were the outcasts; the embryos that were not allowed to be aborted. The motherless children of a society with no compassion or love for anyone they considered less than themselves. Still claiming their God taught love as they hated anything that was different than they were.


They were jailed in rooms with 3 tier beds and 200 women in spaces that were built to house 50. Some slept on hard plastic boats along the filthy walls with numbers taped to a space above them, 187, 188, 189 and referred to as such when paged by the D.O.s of Maricopa County Estrella Jail, located on the south side of Phoenix.


Sheriff Joe Arapio ran his jails like a slave plantation with guards that were trained in the art of dehumanization, sleep and food deprivation, food poisoning, and breaking of the human spirit. He and his gestapo cronies operated above the law. But their specialty was cruelty and hopelessness.His regime really got a kick out of punishing their prisoners for crimes they had not been convicted of or even seen a judge about, just accused. They were breeding entire generations of despair, sadness and uneducated madness like a worm in the bottom of a Meskale Tequila bottle.


The candy man was the laundry officer; panties, socks and bras on Monday & Wednesday, sheets and towels on Tuesday, stripes and blankets on Friday. They sang the panty-man song whenever he came around. He could not pin point just one of them so they got away with it. They exchanged what they had with something laundered, sometimes the clothes fit, most times they didn’t. Only if they heard him come, anywhere between 5 am and 7 am did the prisoners get the exchange. Otherwise they hand washed what they had and hopefully had a chance to hang it to dry before the D.O. on duty made them take it down. (It was not very often that their clothes got a chance to dry).


Recreation, by most prison standards was to be 1 hour a day. The prisoners were lucky to see the sun or outside once a week. Then they risked missing their medication being delivered by the not too friendly nursing staff or one of the two meals they were served a day. Either way there was a due to pay for recreation.


Church services were offered for most mono Judea/Christian God denominations as it was reinforcement of those with the power and their reasons for being in power. It was amazing how many found God while imprisoned just to have the luxury of getting out of their pod for an hour once a week.


To Ask Why

The hen house keckle
With Hyde & Jeckle.
Disguised in stripes
Of black and white.

In pink socks and slimy ooze
matching squeaky rubber shoes.
Incased in shackles
Around bruised ankles.

All colors and creed,
All need to see ...

The blue sky.

To ask why-
        To ask why-
                  To ask why-

It’s the hen house keckle
We laugh and we chuckle.
We be zebras of a different stripe
With all that jazz or without the hype.

In madness and despair
Of purgatory - beware.

Of the hen house keckle ...

To ask why-
        To ask why-
                  To ask why-

Mrs. Hawkins, she’s a real prize,
This is truth, I tell you no lies
With a voice like a freight train
Sales two for one; pay or pain.

From New York, meet young Elizebeth
Does not know any words at all but,
Fuck, fucking and a fuck.
Wish that light was a truck

To finally shut them both up.

Doing the hen house keckle ...

To ask why-
        To ask why-
                  To ask why-

Then there’s the rolled cig queen,
Her name is Big Christine.
She likes to sleep all day,
Then sings the hymns -say hey.
Hustles all night
Now that’s a fright.

To the hen house keckle ...

To ask why-
        To ask why-
                  To ask why-

The drama queen with a trustee girl,
Margaret always talking in swirl,
Sounds more like whining
Really says nothing.

The hatred - The abuse –
The conflict lights the fuse.

The officers sit and grin
As they toss your pictures in
The trash, then expect you to smile;
We’re just a big clod of dirt pile,
Through dry, cracked lips,
Say “thank you, Miss”

Here for you to step upon
Humming our sad little song ...

Singing the hen house keckle ...

To ask why-
        To ask why-
                  To ask why-

In the hen house, they keckle ... 

Author's Note: This is a true story about a jail and how unconvicted, unsentenced prisoners are treated in Maricopa County Estrella Jail, located on the south side of Phoenix, Arizona. I know because I was incarcerated there for 60 days because I took myself and my children out of domestic violence across state lines without the abusers permission.

These women were/are treated worse than psychotic killers, rapists, and child molesters (and others who commit heinous crimes). If P.O.W.'s were treated this way, the establishment responsible for their treatment would face execution by the Laws of the Geneva Convention, for not only are they denied civil rights, but are denied human rights.

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