Crumbling walls, old concrete,

Chipped old beams, An Aged

Witness to half and a century’s

Parade of men, armed ready,

Guarding for possessions.

Protectors to El Dorados’ gold fortune,

Buried miles deep, scraped by hand.

Parade of men, armed ready,

Six lines deep, bayonets ready,

Guarding for possessions –

Against men causing insurrection,

Men without innocence,

Convicted and contained,

Locking away our shame.

Sitting, ruminating on concrete steps,

Corners of an old fort, prison, refuge,

Hiding remnants of shadows, ghosts

Of men once without refuge.

Men’s lives contained in concrete metal

Cells with ordered sequences,

Freed only upon deliverance,

To remnants of shadows and ghosts.

Nothing remains but minute specks,

But running tourists, gawking agape,

Fingers pointing at stop signs,

Selfies and image with no purpose,

Fleeting memories of a visit,

To old forts, prison’s or refuge,

Hiding pride, gold or shame.

Nothing remains –

A bay, waves hitting old rocks,

Solitary sailboat bobbing,

Touching its bow, like curved lips

Kissing and lapping, quenching,

It’s thirst with deep waters.

Nothing remains – looking up,

A solitary seagull squawking,

Incessantly flapping wings,

Flying amongst and resting,

Upon crumbling blocks of aging concrete,

Looking down to find leftovers and scraps,

Memories of gawking tourists and selfies.

Sitting in Alcatraz, aging ruins,

Ruminating on crumbling steps,

Nothing remains – pride, gold or shame,

But remnants of shadows, ghosts,

Men who lived, died, became free,

On this remote, solitary rock.

Witnesses to half and a century’s

worth of struggle to live, die, be freed,

Captured only in momentary images

By squawking seagulls and gawking tourists.

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