Roman statue of the head of St. John the Baptist
Photo by Peter Chiykowski on Unsplash

with a torn and bleeding heart I smile
this mask that I wear to hide the pain for only a while
the miry clay has thickened beneath my tired feet
from the tears shed during this journey of life
many debts paid
many years sacrificed,

with a torn and bleeding heart I smile
this mask that I wear to hide the pain for only a while
beneath my feet is a long journey in which I feel alone
so many profess to care but the love isn’t shown,

to all the people who’ll hate me after I die
just know that I was only human
I lived and I tried
tried to love
fit in
and no longer hide
bitter by the hurt felt through out my life
choices were made
impulsively strayed
into this mask that I wear that makes me feel safe.

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.

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Christopher Reece

Christopher Reece is a writer incarcerated in Michigan. He has been in prison since he was 20 years old.