Photo by Jude Beck via Unsplash

I was looking out of the tiny window in my prison cell just the other day.
A tear rolled down my cheek thinking about the truths my child might say
I saw a little boy there sitting on the ground. I went to say “hello” but he said, “My daddy’s not around.”
I got a little closer, a frown grew on his face. “My mom has found another to take my daddy’s place.”
I knelt right down beside him, to help him with his strife. He said, “I’m just a little kid, but he’s been missing all my life.”
I tried to say “I’m sorry” but he didn’t understand my plea. I told him who I was, he said his daddy wasn’t me.
I got up to walk away but he pulled me to his side. He said, “If you ever see my dad, mister, please tell him I said hi.”

There was a little girl, a young woman probably by now. To get back into her life as “Dad” I’m not exactly sure how.
She struggles every day, growing up without me. Growing up in this type of world without her precious daddy.
She has my facial structure, her eyes are soft and brown. I could see the pain inside her because her father wasn’t around. This is what I heard:
“There’s been no father in my life, to teach me right and wrong.”
“A father there beside me to tell me when I’m strong.”
“There’s been no father in my life, to celebrate my growth.”
“There’s been no father in my life, it seems the whole world can see.”
“I try to smile and stay real strong, but I really miss my own daddy.”
As I sit here in solitude, my eyes forever moist, listening to the whispers, the whispers of my child’s voice.

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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Jeffrey Shockley

Jeffrey Shockley is a PJP contributing writer incarcerated in Pennsylvania.