daily, I go nose to nose with those

who’ve commited the most vicious of crimes


they spew verbal lashings

bitch slap with one liners

and attempt to grapple my mind with words


a warehouse of hand-cuffed souls

yelling out their unshackled blows

from behind bars, no holds barred

from those physically and mentally scarred


their attempts to bring me down

with vulgar tongue piercing sounds

generally go in one ear and out the other

in and out of these prison bars

I have to stay on my guard

because occasionally I have to use

more than verbal judo