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Leaves lay on the grass
Photo by Jillian Wesner

Autumns leaves litter the grass
Bare trees offer their switches
My lips perfect for backhands
Hunger introduces my stomach and spine
Grandma’s house belongs to us all
Stained church glass a witness
Virginity snatched like the offering
Church clothes remained my dress clothes
Monopoly money buys food not clothes
Neck-bones beans rice chitterlings
Corn meal pancakes with no syrup
The neighbors seem to have some
We love Christmas and never had one
Eight years old with a phone bill
Utilities in my brother’s name
Cannabis and rum numbs the pain
Loan me $50 till … late last year
Need a new lens on my paradigm
You can learn a lot in a prison cell
… in a prison cell

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.

Fred Hill is a writer incarcerated in Colorado.