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Fear, longing, escape.

Convicts harvested, handpicked grains of wild rice,

black and brown seeds

hulled to white bone under a deviled sun.

When they break

some make it across the river.

Others are caught,

having lingered too long in the cool currents.


Three Hispanic men make their way across the border

at Heroica Nogales where they are greeted as heroes

by the triumphal Federales.

The convicts, being men of the world, are careful to listen

for the sound of a key in the lock.

R o n   S h i e l d s

A Convict Work Crew – Legende, MN

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