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Photo illustration by Jillian Wesner. Source: Unsplash

Street-wise, gun-toting youth
wallowing around in the dirt,
Gunfires, man died, life sentence really hurt
world crumbles, all around you is gloomy,
situations beyond belief.
Jail cell the size of a dog’s kennel,
dear John letter from the one you thought was love,
causes grief.
Slow pain is like a slow burn,
most of your friends’ backs are turned,
all seems lost,
this tunnel is long —
there’s no light in your future,
so to you right is wrong.

Then your world collapsed
as you got the news:
your granny passed away —
now you got the blues.
The thoughts scamper through your mind
invitations of suicide,
you twist the rope,
mix the poison,
prepare for your single-man genocide.
Your life is shattered,
nothing to live for,
no need to try all you can.

Then out of the blue
the sun comes up
as you receive a letter from a friend.

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.

Ronald Ramsey Jr. is a writer incarcerated in California.