Photo by Aida L on Unsplash

You reap what you sow
You make your own fate
You live in the cold
You get there from your own feet
Destiny’s verdict
My destiny screams
To walk in chains
No longer free
How long must I walk in chains
How long must I dance with the devil
I’m a man of fate
On my bus ride
To the chain gang

Shackled and handcuffed
Looking out the window
Paper shoes
The scars on my ankles
Time is time
No matter the state

I carry around this big ball and chain

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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Harold Sandford Carter III

Harold Sanford Carter III is writer incarcerated in Florida. He is a pagan musician and activist. His poetry has been published in the Journal of Progressive Health and Human Services as well as the American Prison Writing Archive.