I watered the garden, and there he was
small, barely moving — with no tail!
I picked him up and wondered
what he was…
a lizard, side-blotched, a beautiful blue
He needed help, he ran across me…
A lizard-lover to the Tee!
I know where crickets and pinchers sleep.
I named him Fender
cause he looked like a mini-guitar
I fed him and kept him warm
Then we got locked down for COVID-19
The porters were with the business
I got bags of bugs under my door
Then the CO let me “work”
but really I was outside in the dirt
digging for mealworms and baby termites
anything for my little guy
Six months passed and he grew strong
his little nubby tail grew three inches long
I got approved for a transitional home
Then I knew it was his time
Run off into the sunset
my little boy, my service pet!
COVID was scary, but he kept me calm
I took him out during yard
and let him free
I knew soon that’s where I’d be
but I cannot say it was easy
or that would be a lie
When I let him go…
I just stood there and cried
COVID is still here and it’s December
And I still think of Fender,
My quarantine friend.
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.