Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

It seems like yesterday
When my life first turned upside down,
because I’m stuck in a timezone
like a circus clown…

Thick with makeup
that never ages
and showing a smiling face,
but deep down suffering
with hidden sorrow
and a sad lonely face…

Because one must not wear
his weakness,
gotta hold strong
and swallow your own bitterness…

And a life no more
I understand,
I was forced to abandon my own future
with these two hands…

If I could go back in time,|
what would I change?
the way I treated my family
and save my homie
from dying at a young age
or living out their lives
instead of in a cage…

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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Tri Sang Ly

Tri Sang Ly is a Vietnamese poet who has been serving multiple life sentences since 1996 when he was 17 years old.