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Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

I can say I’m afraid of many things, maybe too many to speak of today.
But I guess I’ll point out the most important ones that I need to say.
I’m afraid of being a disappointment to my sons and the people who matter.
I know I put myself in a hole, down deep and it’s going to be hard to climb up that ladder.
To die alone in a cell and get thrown in a hole wrapped in a sheet.
Or to die from a stroke or cancer or maybe even diabetes where they have to cut off my feet.
For my mom to pass away while I’m stuck in jail.
Or for one of my sons to come to jail and I’ll know how much I’ve failed.
I’ve already lost my Dad as well as a few other family members while being here.
And if I go before my Mom she will be broken and never stop crying a single tear.
To never get married and have another child.
Or to be so in love that all you do is stare at the clouds.
For one of my sons to get shot in the streets because of my past.
Or I didn’t have enough time and this breath I take is my last.

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.

Brandon Charleston is a writer and poet incarcerated in Pennsylvania.