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Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Some say anyone could have seen what I saw, done what I did,
think how I thought, take action upon how I acted.
Truth to the matter, why me?
A nobody, simply a family daddy.
Yet I was summoned to dance with the devil, to deal with evil,
Immensely with peril — was I sent to make it level?
Was it he who knew I would not fail, a protector whom he knew would prevail?
Then why leave me no bail, forcing me to sit like left-out bread to be stale,
Forced to only communicate through mail.
Is it because you know I have the strength to endure,
That I in fact have a heart oh-so pure?
Was that a test to find myself a cure,
So when I get home I fill the picture?
Not just the timeframe but the rule,
Was it to keep me from wrapping the truck around a pole
And keep the family from digging another hole?
Six feet deep filled with sorrow and pain,
Another wreck just would not sustain,
Too much sadness for the sane.
The more I think about it and use my brain
Death is easy and life is hard, mental struggle yet left unscarred
Another reminder of the journey so far,
This voyage, a choice I did not want to embark upon.

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.

Travis Kaleo Vales is a Hawaiian writer incarcerated in California.