Any chance you’ll get out of prison soon? That’s all he said. A postcard. So everyone read it. Not just the censors. Not just the matron. But the smirking girl who dropped the mail through the bars, the two who sorted mail with their dirty fingers, printing everything they handled with the swirls and curves of their thumb and finger.
Everybody read it. Knew how stupid he was. How sarcastic. He knew the date. She knew it. And soon wasn’t the operable word.
She turned the card over. Picture of two turkeys, Tom’s feathers flared, wild turkeys. Who the hell sends a person a turkey postcard. Well, who’s the turkey? Who’s the Tom? The man was subtle.
Any chance . . . .?
No chance in Hell. He knew that.
. . . you’ll be getting out . . . aka, you’ll have any idea what your big daddy Tom Turkey is up too
. . . of prison. He’d kissed her at the sentencing, her hands in cuffs, him leaning over the railing, big show, flash of pictures being taken, headlines in everybody’s head: Ponzi Victim Forgives or Love Conquers All
If they only knew. She’d tried to explain. The prosecutor twisted her words. “I thought . . . “ she’d said.
“You thought . . ." he’d pushed back. “And what did you know?”
She’d known it was wrong, but did it anyway because he asked her, made it easy. “Better if my name’s not on it,” he’d said—as if his name was something.
“. . . soon.”
Soon was coffee cold in her cup. Soon was one hour in the yard—not a strip of shade anywhere. Soon was the list of inmates with visitors today and her name not on it. Soon was now and no, she wasn’t going anywhere, not now, not soon.
© 2013 Kathleen Coskran