Christmas at Dixon Women’s Prison

Christmas at Dixon Women’s Prison

Though he’s male
they call for a female officer
who pulls him from his car

seat then lays him
on a steel table
and opens his blanket

unzips his onesie
with the lions and giraffes
slips the undershirt over his head

tears open the Velcro straps
removes his diaper
lifts his body up

with gloved hands
holds him in the air
like a wet cat

while two correctional officers
do a diaper inspection
with a flashlight

the naked child
his face in a grimace
tilts back his head

with its halo of curls
and roars out a protest
his chubby legs

fight and kick
his small butt
wriggles in the cold

Laura King holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is in the MFA program for Creative Writing at Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. Her work has appeared in Evening Street Review, Hollins Critic, The Los Angeles Times, Modern Haiku, Neologism Poetry Journal, Ponder Review, The Opiate, Slant: A Journal of Poetry, Whimperbang, and Wrath-Bearing Tree. She lives in Sacramento, California, where she is a pecan farmer and a hospital chaplain.

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