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Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Cold darkness
Desolate, complete isolation 
Walls bleeding bland
Apocalyptic nightmares
Blank stares
Deadfalls, soaring cliffs
Toothy traps, venomous snares
Fleet-footed foxy demons
Eel-tongued salesmen
Witch doctors and pharmacies
Boasting cure-alls
And pushing their wares

Don’t look
Don’t listen
Speak not —

Light penetrates the fog
A simple call echoes
Through cavernous canyons

The veil lifts
Hope flares anew!
Demons shy away
To dark passages
Biding their time
Waiting for dark

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.

Arnold John Corbine Jr. is an Ojibwe writer from the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation. He enjoys spending his free time writing, being with family and inhabiting nature. He was released in 2022, after being incarcerated in Wisconsin for more than 16 years.