A barred window on a red brick wall
Photo by Atharva Patil on Unsplash

The clock strikes five
And the morning’s first alarm
Test blares defiantly against the still silence.

For a brief moment of time,
I feel a sense of excitement
As I know a new day has just begun.

That moment is short lived though,
As the alarm dies and reality comes
Crashing down on me once again

From down the tier
I can hear the CO’s keys begin to
Unlock the tray slots to our cells,
Which can only mean one thing:
There will be no program today.

That excitement turns to dread
For I know that the next twenty-four hours
Will be spent wastefully locked down
In my concrete cage.

Still, I try to stay optimistic
By reminding myself the same thing
That I have told myself so many times before,
Maybe tomorrow.

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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James A. Holmes

James A. Holmes is a writer incarcerated in California.