Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A lonely man sits
At a desk full of papers,
Thousands of words
Trapped between lines.
He wonders, “Why?
Why do I write? 
When I die, 
Will these words die with me? 
Is there any point 
In writing these lonely words?
Will they be remembered
When they turn to dust? 
Do I write for you,
The reader? 
Or am I simply
Writing these words for myself? 
These piles of paper,
A collection of thoughts.
Who will understand? 
Does it matter? 
As long as I live,
I will spill these thoughts
With a dull pencil,
Until the time comes
When I will be 
Just a memory.
But my thoughts 
Will live on paper,
An echo of me.”

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.

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

Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw is a writer of morbid or horror poetry and short stories and is currently working on self-publishing a collection of his writings. He is incarcerated in California, and publishes under a pen name because he feels that his incarceration hurts his chances of being a successful writer.