Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash

I am more broken than I think I am
I am less broken than you assume I am
My spirit is stable yet still a little fragile
Daily, I feel I am getting stronger
Soon I shall not be broken at all

Every day I find missing pieces of me
I left them, bit by bit, across the years
Each piece I recover makes me stronger
Each piece could be the one that makes me whole
I long not to be the one I was, but the one I will be

Once I am whole and strong, will you be there
I will no longer be your victim or your project
I won’t be your toy to amuse your current mood
I’ll be an independent person capable of boundaries
Will the word “no” make you try to break me again?

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.

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Dorothy Maraglino

Dorothy Maraglino is a writer incarcerated in California. Writing is how she processes the world around her and devotes most of her time to short works that share the realities of prison.