Retribution


It was suddenly there, just as the road curved to the left, solid
brick-and-steel buildings sharing a long façade. A wall prevented
closer inspection, allowing only a cursory glance at narrow windows
on the top floor, all cross-hatched with bars and mesh and placed
high enough to admit only the faintest rays of sunrise. For some,
it was all the light they would ever see.
No sound or movement came from inside,
where bad men paid for their crimes.

Three miles later, another complex shared the same road,
this one also of brick and steel, united by solemn stone and
partially hidden behind a grim, gray wall. The same dismal
windows, with their checkered pattern, were already squeezing
the mid-morning sun into fragments. For some,
it was all the light they would ever see.
No sound or movement came from inside,
where good women paid for their piety.

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