by Carlos McKethan
Third place, Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2022
Obstruction of justice, but then I ask,
What’s been obstructed?
And whose justice has been violated?
If I recall correctly, the last time that I checked, it was just – us.
Us meaning the souls that have been lost to the system.
The misguided who weren’t provided for,
the misjudged who when trapped in difficult situations didn’t budge,
the mischievous, the misbehaved
who could care less about the grave.
Simply a reactionary manchild who was only taught to be brave
and the misunderstood
who did what they could.
You see, never being one to judge but I can tell when my equilibrium is off,
and the odds aren’t in my favor,
the scale being so lopsided it’s as if I’m walking sideways,
smack into a dead end.
Chaos, where’s its dark and hell is hot,
Can you feel the heat?
Cause in this journey called life, being discriminate ain’t at all discreet.
So I fight my battles with knowledge,
Cause I “know” that “ledge”
and spent plenty of time on that edge.
The edge where emotions are barred
and I’m mentally scarred,
nursing my wounds with my wisdom,
showing my strength thru ways and actions,
understanding the psychology of it all,
so has my justice been obstructed?
Is it rage against the machine?
You see, there’s always been rage but we seem unable to defeat
the well oiled machine,
the privy to all information machine,
the worldwide conglomerate machine.
The biggest brother,
one that’s most definitely from another mother,
eyes everywhere, covering all crevices,
never missing a beat,
arms so long they can touch you from anywhere,
never caring about privacy.
As the world is it’s rivalry.
Not giving a “uhhh”! a while forever spying on me,
building up such rage.
Rage that has been pent up but has been poked so much.
The sleeping giant no longer lays, it’s arisen,
packing the courage of gladiators who only knows one mission:
Fights to the death,
but the fight I’m dealing with can’t be won physically,
one must be equipped with mental ammunition,
as we dealing with psychological warfare,
a battle of the minds,
so the mind, body and spirit has to be conditioned,
conditioned to go the distance,
in a never ending battle where obstacles are consistent.
so we learned to navigate around and in between them,
staying forever resistant,
so don’t ever get it twisted and lose vision of the bigger picture:
freedom of the mind
freedom from the fetters that held us down,
and yet I still show resistance,
staying down and diligent,
still holding resentment.
Resentment for my justice being obstructed,
while the machine is steadily winning while maintaining its function
and still causing rambunction.
Now, ain’t that a conjunction?
Yeah, “obstructed justice”….