Covid-19 Vacation–Chapter Four

Be absolute for death: for either death or life shall be the sweeter” William Shakespeare 

From Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom

I was assigned a cell at the head of the corridor. It overlooked the courtyard and had a small eye-level window. I could walk the length of my cell in three paces. When I lay down, I could feel the wall with my feet and my head grazed the concrete at the other side. The width was about six feet, and the walls were at least two feet thick. Each cell had a white card posted on the outside of it with our name and our prison service number. Mine read, “N Mandela 466/64, which meant I was the 466th prisoner admitted to the island in 1964. I was forty-six years old, a political prisoner with a life sentence, and that small cramped space was to be my home for I knew not how long.

And my companion piece, the following poem I wrote from my Covid-19  Vacation Country Club Prison. I am seventy-seven years old and this bunker with a view will be my home for I know not how long.

In My Cups

When I’m’ in my cups-
communing with my dark side
I tend to view history with a jaundiced eye
Wasn’t there a time
when Millard Taft and Howard Fillmore
were made up names of dead presidents
who for all practical purposes
never really existed
And when future folks come to ponder
denizens of more recent power
might they not be adding to the list
Adolf Trump, President of the United States
just before the lights went out
and we were plunged into our watery graves
and stripped of history altogether

The Bard of Appanoose

See all my poems and stories @ 


Adolf Trump will sound’ about right