by Chris Bunton
I was locked up in prison,
on an aggravated charge.
I had stabbed a man like me,
another tough guy, just like me.
I taught myself to whistle,
a dozen well loved tunes.
It soothed me, and brought joy;
in a place where hate ruled the day.
It was night, when we lock down,
and I whistled out the cell door;
into the massive steel hall,
lined with cells, full of hard men, just like me.
“Amazing Grace” flew from my lips,
and floated ghostly echoing down the hall.
A long mournful dirge, like taps,
on a silent battlefield.
The next day I was on the yard in the sun;
when a giant of a man came to me.
He stormed at me with a purpose,
and I got ready for a fight to come.
“You the one whistling at night?”
He asked, pointing a finger at me.
Now I really thought we would fight.
“Yeah, it’s me.” I said, I ain’t no punk.
He softened and looked at me,
his eyes welling with tears.
“Man, I was beat and lying there in my bunk.
I was done. I was ready to give up.”
“But, I prayed and asked God to help.
And just then, your song came through.
That sound of Amazing Grace,
that my momma sang to me…”
“I remembered my Grandma is praying for me,
and that God is on my side.
And I decided to live another day,
to get outta this place.”
He held his fist out for a manly bump,
and I bumped his fist with love,
in a place filled with hate,
surrounded by tough guys, just like me