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A mirror reflecting an angel praying in the sky
Illustration by Jillian Wesner (Source: Unsplash)

Crowded rows filled with metal bones covered in crimson rust,
Vagrant trees lined two by two layered in lazy dust
A single, lonely stop sign dented and faded by time,
Scattered pieces of discarded change: two pennies, three nickels, one dime.
Radiant oranges blooming over dry creek beds,
Ripened apples blossom into vibrant reds
Amber groves bathed in aurora’s summer sheen,
Prairie dogs run at play tiny pups newly weaned.
Pomegranates shine ’neath tarnished ochre glaze,
As sunlight slowly swallows early morn’s haze.
An insect army fervently at work bustles all in a line,
Glistening green grapes freshly dewed dangle upon the vine.
Shards of abandoned glass, a broken bottle’s last remains,
Endless dirt roads paved in winter rains
Darkness quickens in sullen snatches,
As shadows lapse between vacant branches
Heaven dances in the starry twilight, reflecting Angels as they pray,
A golden autumn skyline, God’s handiwork in vivid display.
Empty cobwebs sparkle ’twixt translucent rainbows,
Martyred reflections of life in silent repose.

Author’s note: I spent nine years at Pelican Bay State Prison and this poem is a tapestry to tell the story of my life during that time. It is the story of one day which repeated itself for nine years. It still replays in my mind whenever the night is darkest. That dark day stands in contrast to the beauty and wonder of the poem I wrote to escape it.

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.

Travis Britt is a poet who has been writing since he was a teenager. A devout Christian, Britt is enrolled in a master’s program for pastoral ministry and theology at International Christian College and Seminary. He is incarcerated in California.