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Sun beams across stone castle.
Edited by Jillian Wesner. Source: 2some Travel on Unsplash

I can write and write,
but that doesn’t make the pain
go away.

In fact, my writing invites it to stay;
all of the sadness I have in my head
written down on paper as if
it was art.

These white walls taunting my freedom.
Sadness in fact has taken over its

with me as its queen, feeling
hopelessness and despair
and pitying the question on how
life isn’t fair.

The queen is hated on in
kingdoms afar. The kingdom
is forgotten. Nobody cares
about the little girl
with the long brown hair,

thus she cut it all off when
she turned 23, in hopes it
would make her feel a little
more free.

But people don’t care about why
she cut her hair or stopped
chasing her dreams or visions
or how Doc makes all her decisions;

people don’t care about her
nightmares or fears
or staring at the ceiling
every night with fears.

They never ask her “how are
you today,” they’re just ranting
to ask “how long is your stay?”

Certain friends left her in her time of need.
I’ll never understand that kind
of greed.

So she stands tall in this
forgotten kingdom
all alone …
at least she has not given up
her throne.

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.

Luisa Cutting is a writer incarcerated in Virginia.