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Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Bless my generation
who’s come up marred and scarred
by mass-incarceration
aimed at the heart of the hood:
our children.

Those who learned that self worth
was embedded in their self-destruction.
Bless those baptized in war
who never learned to hate
and all the minds and hearts
that are caged.

Bless those aimed
at by the system
lost in gang violence since they were children,
rendered broken by experience,
raised up in the sounds
of alarms engulfed in fire.

Bless those who come out the pit of snakes
who’ve been bit and crushed yet never break.
Bless the scoundrels of our nation.

Bless those impacted
by mass incarceration.

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.

Peter Sierra is a writer who is determined to change his life, provide a voice to the voiceless and address issues around incarceration. He has published a poetry book called “Walking Metaphors,” and he’s currently working on a novel about incarceration. He is incarcerated in California.