Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Image by ccaetano via Deposit Photos

Sink or Swim

I don’t want to drown no more
I fought hard to get to shore
I want to live more
Make my legacy better than before

I don’t want to drown no more
I remember days when I couldn’t smile no more
Life had me drowning in depression
Tribulations, bad decisions
I still wanted to live more

It didn’t feel good
Not to have faith no more
Imagine drowning alive
That’s most of our lives
Witness agony in their eyes
No matter how hard they try
To disguise

I don’t want to drown no more
I asked God for forgiveness
From my heart
Now I’m full-strength
Swimming to shore
Cause I don’t want to drown no more!

Trapped Inside

Two decades trapped in
Judged again and again
Woke up to negative voices once again
Close to giving up hope once again
The good just went bad again
Despite facts being twisted
Judge gave a damn about my existence
Or my bond with my kids missing
While those who lied, saying I was the bad guy
Why they outside? Living a lie
While I’m surviving this ill prison

Lost my mom then my gram
Way before they lost their existence
20 years in prison
No hugs just prayers and wishes
This inside voice is vicious
It makes me suspicious, trying to cloud my vision
Strip my faith
Have me morale-less in prison
So I fight the feeling 
Continue to keep the hope alive
Of being free from this prison
Too late to proclaim my innocence 
Damage was done once I was wrongfully convicted
Two decades in, missing my freedom


I see clearly now
Though the devil stays testing me
Mentally stressing me
Challenging my decisions
Though my heart pumps true religion
Never been perfect
Name one person on earth who is
These lines gorgeous
Rich in knowledge, as the Forbes is
Real as grass on Earth is
Don’t get me twisted
Cause the position I sit in
My vision from this cold cell
Is for a better place to dwell
Change on earth 
So we can all exhale
My heart was once frail
My vision was lost, with no braille
Took time to get focused 
20 years in
Still screaming my innocence, out of my cold cell
If my innocence never prevails
I pray my new legacy will be

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.

Dewan Evans is the author of three books, including a work of fiction about a teenage boy who is bullied titled “No Bully!” He is incarcerated in California.