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Photo by Nicholas Santoianni on Unsplash

So many days I wake up praying for change.
Tears fill my eyes when I realize…
But I know that, one day, above all of this I will rise.

It’s strange to be behind these walls:
there’s no one to pick you up when you fall
through the cracks

as everyone you love turns their backs
on you. Yet you continue to breathe and take steps forward,
and with every breath it makes time feel shorter. 

I pray to God that He places my steps in order,
and hope that He keeps His arms 
wrapped around my son and daughter.

The pain I feel seems to have been here 
for so many years and I know I
need to use it to conquer my fears.

Trapped behind these walls,
with the fences so tall,
my visions for the outside are no longer small.

This life in prison may last a long time,
but I pray to God about every thought that crosses my mind,
and wait patiently for the day I can let my light shine.

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.

Keshia Freeman is a writer incarcerated in Virginia.