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Old Time Prisoners Poem

Step into my body,
Take a trip with me.
Take a look at my world,
 See the things that I see.

Slip inside my heart,
Feel what I feel.
The anger, pain, loneliness,
And sadness is all so real.

Walk the corridors of hopelessness
That fill these walls.
Hear the woeful, muffled cries
That I know so well.

Now return to your world,
Away from this nightmare of hell,
And be the same person you were.
Tell me if you can!


Freedom and Pain

I stand in the vastness,
The sea in front and sand behind,
A seagull soars and a crab tries to hide.
I feel small surrounded by such grandeur.
My spirit flies with seagulls
And knows freedom with no limit;
My heart hides with the crab

As it creeps to the edge and can go no further.
It disappears in the small cramped space for one,
Just as I can go no further than wire mesh
And retreat into my own shell, a cell,
Where darkness surrounds, fear paralyzes,
And pain reigns.

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.

Gary K. Farlow

Gary K. Farlow is a writer and the author of “Prisonese: A Survivor’s Guide to Speaking Prison Slang.” He is incarcerated in South Carolina.