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Photo by PEO ACWA on Wikimedia Commons

Far from the resting place of my ancestors,
my dreams fall to the void,
my blood runs thicker than water,
trying to drown out all the noise.

Far away from my people,
yet so close to the pain,
surrounded by the shroud of fences,
I plead and pray for the rain.

Drunk on the distance between us,
I pray to the four directions,
let there be mercy and hope,
in this Department of Corrections.

I let the sage burn each and every week,
inhaling the spirit of my home,
my actions go untested,
and I fear I walk alone.

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.

Lawton Thompson is a Lakota poet from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Incarcerated in Arizona, far from his people and culture, he draws and writes poetry.