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Sunrise over the ocean horizon
Photo by Douglas Bagg on Unsplash

I owe a thank you to the ones who never left me
the ones who had courage to stand by me in a courtroom
where silence is deafening

to the ones who listened to my midnight cries
to the ones who had to hear the words “all rise”
to the ones who saw me in handcuffs and shackles

to the ones who promised me this prison time I’d tackle
“you’re not alone,” they told me
“we still love you,” they cried

on that day I realized I’d never see an ocean sunrise
not for a while my friends, but one day we’ll begin again
on the tough days I think about how the courtroom was filled with people I love

yet I’m crying to you now, it can be really rough
I remember the pain and our broken hearts
but you say you’ll stay through all the fears

and you say you’ll stay through all years
you give me strength
thank you

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.

Luisa Cutting is a writer incarcerated in Virginia.