Photo by Thiago Rebouças on Unsplash

I have done evil but hold no evil in my heart
I have done heroic deeds but am no hero
I have passed on knowledge while ignorant myself
I have endured even though I am weak
I have showed kindness for uncharitable reasons
I have been cruel for kindness’ sake
I have seen God in Hell and the Devil in Heaven
I have read to both learn and unlearn
I have seen beauty in the ugly and ugly in the beautiful
I have acted bravely out of cowardice and cowardly out of bravery

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Dorothy Maraglino

Dorothy Maraglino is a writer incarcerated at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, California. She is serving a life-without-parole sentence under the state’s felony murder rule. Writing is how she processes the world around her to remain sane. She devotes most of her time to short works that share the realities of prison.