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A pen lays on top of a handwritten poem
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

We write from these cages
And fill countless pages,
Earning the wages we’ve sown from our sins.

The stories we tell
Since the time that we fell
Can’t begin to reveal all the hell that we’ve seen.

Innocent and guilty
Condemned though we may be
We struggle for words to connect to humanity.

From a place with no sense,
Where our senses grow dense
We crave to belong to something valid and strong.

So we labor alone
With a pen and a phone
And call in our stories, our regrets and our glories.

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.

David “Razor” Babb is the founding editor-in-chief of The Mule Creek Post, a newspaper published out of Mule Creek State Prison in California, where he is incarcerated. He is also a 2008-2009 winner of the PEN Prison Writing Award in the essay category and the author of numerous books including “Icicle Bill,” “Goodbye Natalie” and “Last Lockdown.”