Photo by Edgar Soto on Unsplash

A hot dog, a biscuit with a small dab of grits —
that was my breakfast the first day the pandemic hit.
The virus spread through the prison like a quiet tornado,
for reasons only they know.

The first days were so sketchy: their reasons, excuses,
same pass-the-buck that everyone uses.
The test results confirmed 255,
and as I sit here right now, I thank God I’m alive!
They split us into positive pods,
and negative ones, too —
administration was just as lost in what to do!

Temp checks came each night,
and checking our pulse,
but the nurse never had any answers
about any of our results.

Still to this day, I’ve not seen a single piece of paper.
It seems important documents always disappear like a vapor.
A virus so lethal it shut down a nation
has been handled so poorly by this administration.
They bus overcrowded inmates
from another jail to here,
which did nothing but raise all our fear!

So here we are after 19 days
and our lockdown stays.
They bused in those inmates
because a full prison pays!

They still have not sanitized the pod I’m on —
after 10 to 14 days, is the virus really gone?
I got a bag for lunch and dinner today, who knows about tomorrow…
Does anyone have some parole I can borrow?

 
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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Rob Seidelman

Rob Seidelman is a writer incarcerated in a southern Western Virginia prison. He was born in the Chicago suburbs and is an avid writer of many subjects in poetry. He is finishing a 25-year sentence.