Photo by Dietra Semple on Unsplash.com

Our thing is like
A small brown bird,
A beautiful beige, black and white
Spotted breast thrush
Thrashing wildly
In the barbed wire,
Trapped between this life and
Whatever comes next

Our thing is like
A small brown bird,
Grasping fiercely, twigs and fluff
And dreams
Of a home it cannot build

Our thing is like
A small brown bird,
Thrashing wildly
In the barbed wire,
Torn asunder, halfway
Between prison and freedom

Our thing is like
A beautiful beige, black and white
Spotted breast thrush
Trilling our last songs
Which beckon the attention
And saddens
The family and friends who can do nothing
But watch

 
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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Michael Owens

Michael Owens is a poet serving a life without parole sentence at Mule Creek State Prison. Over the course of his 24 years of incarceration he has grown from being a lost, angry youth to being a peer mentor and advocate of restorative justice. He is the author of numerous works, including the poetry collection, “The Way Back” (Random Lone Press).