An Inmate and His Dog by Stephen Newman

The following poem was written by M. Brandal, an inmate here in Orofino. He submitted it to me for publication to our prison newspaper, the RazorWire. I’m not a big fan of most poetry, but I thought this was outstanding, and wanted to share it with you:

An Inmate and His Dog

The inmate stood silent, solemn at the fence
His dog on a leash sat patiently hence
He gazed longingly out into free space
Kind pooch looked up with a slobbery face

The man looked down and gave a big smile
Realizing the dog was looking all the while
Some life this is – locked inside this yard
Giving up this fine canine sure would be hard

For eight weeks they come, then rotate out
Saved from the shelter or some horrible lout
Trained well and loved by all that are here
Loving families they go to without further fear

The brutal iroy is not so tough to place
Dog time spent here went by like a short race
The inmate he has much longer to spend
A debt is owed and broken hearts to mend

He wonders if this dog will remember him
Does it long for a man who committed such sin?
“Whatever happened to that nice convict?”
Warm, gentle face, the dog would often lick

“”Did my good friend get a date of release?”
“His everyday suffering ever to cease?”
A dog can remember the man so kind
Hoping his new family does not ever mind

It might be months or maybe even years
Time spent locked away with many grim tears
A walk in the park on a warm sunny day
Is that the same dog who loved to play?

The current owner knows not this strange man
His dog on a leash rushes to nuzzle his hand
The reunion is brief and lasts a short while
After, the former inmate saunters off with a smile

The dog and the inmate, such good ol’ pals
They part best of friends as the new owner scowls
The bond is there, it can never be broken
All affection and love, expressed but unspoken

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843


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