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Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

I have a story that I’d like to tell
About an entire life spent in a cell
Separate from all who truly cared
Too afraid to let his heart be bared.

His early life was filled with love and joy
Until Daddy beat him for being a bad boy.
Instilling within him hatred and a burning rage
And enough fear to keep it all bottled in a cage.

Accused of things he had never done
Reviled by people who wanted to have fun
With a boy who just wanted to be accepted
Who ended up being rejected.

As these types of stories so often go
The boy became his own worst foe
The maelstrom inside becoming unbearable
A violent explosion becoming inevitable.

Now imprisoned for the rest of his life,
With no way to battle the mental strife,
Still reviled by people who can’t leave alone,
A man who turned his heart to stone.

What is the meaning of a life lived unwell?
How can I tell a story from a lifelong cell?
Why, after decades in prison, do I still get low
When I happen to look out of the prison window?

My extremely abridged story aside for now
If you have love and joy hold it tight somehow
Prison windows are small and restrict your view
And I don’t recommend my home for you.

It’s Mine!

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Jerry Spears is a writer incarcerated in Missouri.