Creative Commons License

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

Photo by Karl Joshua Bernal on Unsplash.

Every night
I lay my body down to rest.
I pray to the Lord,
Please take my soul to keep.
Because my soul is tired
Of walking this lonely journey with me.
It’s sick of watching me suffer
With this death by decay.
As I struggle to hold on to my soul to stay.
It fights back not wanting
To be with me for another day.
I have been lying in this deathbed
For the past two decades.
The most painful part is to force
My family to watch me decompose.
Loved ones adore me while they cry.
As others don’t really care how I pass away.
I can tell by the looks in their eyes,
I’m not worthy of being part of their human kind.
I pray that one day,
In the next life,
I have the strength and courage
to face all my past victims and
Accept any punishment they wish upon me.
But until then, for the people,
Although I have changed,
They want to see me embrace this
Death by decay.
Is this how I make amends?

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.

Hoang My Ngo is a poet who writes to share his transformation. Ngo is incarcerated in California.