Photo by Taisiia Shestopal on Unsplash

HOW DO I GROW IN A BOX?
Grow inwards, not out.
Gain wisdom and knowledge,
And your inner being will sprout.

HOW DO I LIVE IN A BOX?
Don’t waste precious energy
Trying to knock the walls flat.
Have faith they will fall,
Leaving your sanity intact.

HOW DO I FIGHT IN A BOX?
Keep your head down,
Blend in with the mud.
Don’t cry even a little
Or your small space will flood.

HOW DO I LOVE IN A BOX?
Start with yourself,
Though it may not be easy to do.
Put yourself above all else —
If you don’t, then who?

HOW DO I LEARN IN A BOX?
Count the bricks that contain you,
Multiply ideas in your mind.
Read deep into your past,
Subtract days from your time.

HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BOX?
I find myself contained within four walls
For being labeled criminally askew.
I am truly yours in the struggle,
Trying to survive my box, too.

 
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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Ladrina Johnson

Ladrina is a writer and beekeeper incarcerated at Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, Georgia. She expects to be released soon, and she calls herself a social butterfly who loves people and things.