Two political prisoners
were sitting in a van with
two Panamanian National Guardsmen
In the front seat
Outside a bar in down town
Panama City

The two National Guardsmen
went inside to check out the bar
Leaving the two men chained
In the back seat

Once inside they spoke
To the bartender in a language
I couldn't understand
And then there was an explosion
Coming from outside the bar
And without looking the
Two guardsmen laughed
And downed their tequila and beers
While outside you could see the
Flames engulf the jeep
The two prisoners lit up
Like two scarecrows tossed into
A bonfire

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet and graduate of San Francisco State University.
He returned from Panama in 1958 to participate in the North Beach Beat literary movement.
He edited and published Second Coming for seventeen years. He is the author of over 40
chapbooks and books of poetry and prose. His work has appeared internationally and has
been translated into eight languages. He took an early retirement in 1995 from the U.S.
Department of Education, where he worked in the Civil Rights Division, investigating cases
of discrimination against minorities, women and the disabled. A book of his Selected Poems
will be published this year by Feel Free Press in England.

2004 Underground Voices