Photo by Rostyslav Savchyn on Unsplash

I long to be free, I’m tired of living like a caged animal,
I feel as if I’m a puppet on a string,
Someone else controls my every move,
Programmed like a robot to do everything they want me to,
As if I’m unable to function on my own,
So they pull the strings to make me function how they want,
The system is designed for you to fail, they want people behind
Bars to see the increase in their bank accounts,
But me, I had a veil upon my face to too blind to see,
While they had a smile upon their face laughing at me,
Because my family was to pay Uncle Tom to have me released,
When all of this could have been avoided if I never ran the streets,
But they fail to realize I was born in poverty,
Couldn’t get a proper job because of the pigmentation of our skin,
And at the same time they kill us because we walk with our hands in our pants,
The system is designed to kill, steal, and rape us of our freedom

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Tyshawn Wysinger

Tyshawn Wysinger is a poet incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison in California.