Maria is a Cuban refugee who has been volunteering with Latinos in the U.S. for over 30 years and in prisons for 2 years.
I looked out the window of the chow hall as I waited endlessly with the other teachers as the guards had refused to tell our students we'd arrived. It was late afternoon, and I was looking at a dazzling coil of silver outside the window. The angle of the light was such that the coil shone like jewelry—a bracelet, or perhaps a necklace. Regularly, you could see points, like diamonds, decorating the coil, which hung as if weightless above the chain link prison fence. It was exquisite. I could, and I did, write a poem about it. Sparkling like something Marilyn Monroe might wear on her arm. And yet it was razor wire. The entire purpose of its being was to rip flesh.
Pablo’s flesh, of course. And any other inmate that would ever try to cross the border to freedom. In my mind is a question: Repellent, yet in a way, necessary. Has anyone ever been brutalized by razor wire, or its ancestor, barbed wire? Does anyone know what it is like for a human to come into contact with this? Because, I tell you , this coil of sharpened wire was not necessary. If there was a breach in security, the inmate would find a way beyond this instrument of torture. Has anyone experienced this? I believe there are some of you who have encountered this, and I also believe it is important to know what it is like, what it is truly designed to do to a human being.
Click here for Part 2
Click here for a blog I wrote about a pigeon trapped in the razor wire
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