A Baby's Cry

Every day before going to work I try to do a little yoga and meditation. Not because I'm religious. I guess the only god I know would be Nature-Spirit. For it is in nature that I find beauty, structure and calm.

As I lay on the floor focusing my mind and slowing my breathing down I'll often hear the early morning call of a robin, its voice so clear and sweet. I'll just open and begin to feel and sometimes cry. The tension of cab driving begins to drop away...

And then in the upstairs apartment I'll hear a baby cry. Right away I'll start feeling irritated and disrupted. My easy calm begins to vanish. And I'll wish that baby would shut up.

Lately, though, I've been thinking how wonderful a baby's cry must sound to a political prisoner or any prisioner. For the baby's cry is real and personal. Its asking for what it needs with the expectation that the need will be met. In prison you don't ask for anything. You can't be for real. The thing is to run a game. Maintain a front so you can survive...

The two times I've been in the 11th and State police station what struck me most was the sound. It is so overwhelming and oppressive. Clinging metal, harsh echoing voices. There is no softness. No gentleness. There is no robin's song or baby's cry!

It takes an extraordinary man or womyn to survive that tyranny of existence they call prison in a human way. I sure hope that I would be up to the task. And I think about it some because when you think about it prison is very much a reality for those who think as we do...

And so I write letters to political prisoners, and contribute monies for books and work for the revolution that will free the Mumia Abu-Jamals, the Oscar Lopez', the Leonard Peltiers and the so many nameless who suffer and die. For I feel a measure of their pain. As much as I can.

—Bill Burns

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