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Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

Kisses in Prison

I woke up this morning,
To nuzzling and kisses;
It was not my cellie,
But the dogs we are training.
He causes smiles every day —
acceptance without doubt;
How lucky I am
that he’s part of my life.
He lights our hearts with joy,
as well as those around;
Unforced smiles seen,
genuine and true.
One day he will leave,
to become a service dog;
But I’ll always have the memories
of his kisses waking me.


Joy came to me on four legs,
Cold wet nose, coat of black;
Puppy kisses at off times,
tail wagging when I’m seen.
A bright light in brown eyes,
Excitement when I speak;
A neck scratch or gentle stroke,
That’s all she ever asks.
A belly rub, day’s first thing,
some silly time at dawn;
Snuggle time at bedtime,
No judgement. Only Joy.


They worm their way into our hearts,
then one day they’re gone;
Leaving behind many memories,
Smiles replacing tears.

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.

Lawrence Palubecki is a writer incarcerated in Wisconsin.