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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.

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.