POEM: Prisoner #7

“Names are for the living.
“Names are for the loyal,”

So they told him,
when they swapped name to number.

He had too many questions
for a dictator’s lackey to tolerate,

“Is six alive? How about five?
“Is there an eight? How ’bout a nine?
“Do they live and die in ordered time?

“Or is each end a random call?
“Toss a coin, and let it fall?
“Let it roll, till it shows a face,
“Heads a bullet, tails for grace
“I’ll take the end that’s certain and dire,
“before letting chance choose when I’m retired.”

“But seven is such a lucky number.”

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