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The Bars Insist

The bars insist

they don’t belong

in prison. We’re not

even bars, they say.

We’re stripes pried

from a zebra’s back.

No one listens—not

the guards and not

petitions. No one

listens until a number

comes along insisting

he’s a man, and

without a crop or

saddle, on seven

stripes rides off.

from EverythingFind more by Andrea Cohen at the library

Copyright © 2021 Andrea Cohen
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Andrea Cohen Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.