Maximum Security Is a Lie: the Saga of Richard Matt and David Sweat

Matt and Sweat

Of course you’ ve read about the prison break at Clinton Correctional near the Canadian border. Everyone in the neighborhood is alarmed; the governor’s declared a state of emergency. The hills and forests around Clinton are crawling with police, and bloodhounds. Helicopters search from above. Few of us will admit we’re rooting for the escapees. Here’s my admission:

The Saga of Richard Matt and David Sweat 

From Clinton prison

There is no escape.

That’s what they say;

It’s the tale of the tape


Walls are thirty feet high

Twenty-four inches thick;

The guards are all psychos

Every one of them’s sick.


But don’t tell that to Ricky Matt

Or to David Sweat,

‘Cause laughter and derision

Are all that you’ll get.


You see, they’re real smart

And they’ve got power tools.

And besides that they know

All their watchers are fools.


They’ve got homies inside

Who hear noises at night

But they just don’t say nothin’

Their mouths are shut tight.


There are friendlies outside

Awaiting in cars

While Davey and Ricky

Break through concrete and bars.


Crawl through heating ducts and plumbing trails

(The journey seemed miles)

Then emerge from a manhole

Can you imagine the smiles?


But they’re killers, you say

And the saying is fair

But they’re no worse than Zimmerman

George Bush or Blair


Who still walk our streets

And give speeches for pay

And will never see jail

For even a day.


These guys have done hard time

Years in the Max

Where guards treat them like dirt

That’s just the facts.


Dave and Rick will be caught

And thrown into “the hole”

Where daytime’s like night;

They’re both black as coal.


But their tale will be told

It just can’t be denied

Like “Cool Hand Luke,” “Shawshank,”

“Bonnie and Clyde.”


Sweat and Matt give us hope

That we all can escape

From a system where jailers

Torture and rape.


Where they watch us like vultures

And control us by fear

These fugitives announce

Our deliverance is near.


Their whole saga supports

The conclusion I’ve reached

The securest of systems

All can be breached!