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Dogs in a caged kennel
Photo by celiafoto on Depositphotos

I am a juvenile.

I wonder what happened to my childhood. I hear chains and shackles, I see the main tower, and I stand up in the face of the exercise yard. I want a new pair of eyes, eyes that will help me see my role in life differently. I am a juvenile.

I pretend this is a dream, while I stare disbelieving. I feel the wind in my face, I listen intently to the sounds, I feel alive. I touch a risk; the great hazard in life is to risk nothing.

I worry how a man endures, how he can be so cold. I cry sometimes because I have not a thing to my name. I am a juvenile.

I understand the size of my heart, and discovered the luster to life. I say to you, “happiness is good health and a bad memory.” I dream I invent something new. I try to fall in love many times with the same person.

I hope she is strong enough to love me. I pray to be forgiven and be a father. I am a juvenile …

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.

Ramiro Leon is a writer incarcerated in California.