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J A N U A R Y   1 9 9 0

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THE REPORT

by Dick Allen


Hear Dick Allen read this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Dick Allen:
Memo From the Desk of Wallace Stevens (1996)

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The wind is blowing on the prison walls
Above the secret towns. In the secret towns
Men are walking through the streets with guns.

Men with guns are walking through the streets
Below the prison walls. The prison walls
Are on the cliffs above the secret towns.

Behind the shattered windows and the shattered doors,
The women kneel and pray. The women pray
While men are walking through the streets with guns.

Men with guns are walking through the streets,
Breaking down the doors. Breaking down the doors
Is what the men do in the secret towns.

The women pray they'll stop. Please stop, they pray,
And let the prison fall. Let the prison fall,
They pray behind the windows and the shattered doors.

But the men are laughing in the secret towns,
And carrying the guns. The men with guns
Walk and laugh below the prison walls.

Below the prison walls lie secret towns
With broken doors. Beyond the broken doors
Men are walking through the streets with guns.


Copyright © 1990 by Dick Allen. All rights reserved.
Originally published in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1990.

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