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Silhouette of a woman's back
Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Tough luck, kid,
you got a 20-year bid —
you just couldn’t put the drug down,
now you’re the talk of the town.

Some hate you, others pity you.
News headline on CNN.
Trying to get out of the guilt,
so you’ve picked up a pen.

“20 years isn’t enough time for her,”
“never thought you’d be a murderer,”
“this is not okay,”
“about time they put her away.”

Everyone always got something to
say, now and every day.

Look, I’ll tell my story, but
there isn’t much to tell.
I got lost in the drug
and somehow from reality fell.

I live every day with remorse,
never would I have soberly taken
this course.

You’re right, I do pick up this
pen, and every day I try to start again.

When Dr. Phil’s calling my name
and people think of me on true crime,
like this is some game —
this is my life.

A nightmare,
and I had myself a true scare
when I tried to take my life,
but God’s got other plans for me,
another perspective
through his eyes, to turn my life around.

But going back to that town,
man, where everyone’s got
something to say,
and I want to be able to walk
without a glare coming my way —
talk about starting over,
when no one will give you a second chance.

I’m scared, to be honest with you …
Dear God, I pray for strength
through you.

So tough luck, kid.
You got a 20-year bid.
You just couldn’t put the drug down,
now you’re the talk of the town.

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

Luisa Cutting is a writer incarcerated in Virginia.