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  James Hutchings

Published on: 1/29/2014
Saranac Prison

Well, morning has broken. The men have awoken
and terrible slow is the journey
as I shuffle in line for a meal fit for swine
and I curse at that Goddamn attorney.

Well there ain't any cheer to be found in this year
of our Lord Eighteen Seventy Eight.
When you're done with your slops then the day sorta stops
and you sit in your cell and you wait.

There's a worn-out old drunk has my cell's upper bunk
and nine tenths of the time I can stand him.
Now he wants me to know if the law let him go
he'd be back to the wife he abandoned.

"Oh, I'd no longer shirk from my share of the work.
I'd be faithful and never would stray."
Why you lying old toad, you'd lie drunk in the road
and be back behind bars in a day.

Well a preacher was sent and he bade us repent
and he had a whole passel of reasons
but I sit in my cell and I hanker for Hell
for I'm getting damn tired of freezing.

It appears that in Maine they're real fond of the rain
and I wish I could get up and run
where it's hot and it's dry and there's blue in the sky
and the world could forget what I done.

I can wish as I may but I'm here anyway
with the rain and the cold and the snow
so I sit on my ass as the day doesn't pass
and there's eight hundred more left to go.

And at last darkness falls and it hides the high walls
but the drunkards and cowards and me
hear a hammering hail on the roof of the jail
to remind us we ain't going free.

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