Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

My world is inhabited by felons only,
Many feeling mad, scared, sad or lonely,
Some will never walk the streets again,
A lot left for dead by family and friends.
My world has its own form of politics,
Upon your arrival, you’ll know they exist,
The first thing you’ll notice, is the separation,
Based on race and/or gang affiliation.
My world revolves around a strict dictator,
Everything is now, and seldom if ever later,
Meal time, yard time, shower time, etcetera,
Even bathroom break time is conveniently set for ya.
My world is sometimes described as a living hell,
Thousands of felons, no women, all male,
With this ratio, it’s not hard to believe,
Why you may see Adam kissing Steve.
My world is designed to prevent your escape,
Twenty feet tall, barbwired gates,
Buildings made of concrete and steel,
Patrolled by guards who’ll shoot to kill.
My world is not a nice place to visit,
And my advice is to keep your distance,
How could I welcome you to such a place,
Without feeling enormous shame and disgrace

 
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.

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

Vincent Harris

Vincent Harris is a poet and writer, incarcerated at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, Calif.