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Silhouette of a man flexing both arms
Photo by KirstenMarie on Unsplash

All this time down
Pushing up off the ground
Fighting round after round
Hoping for the future, but sticking to the now


Enduring all this shit
Putting up with it
Sticking to the script
I’m never gonna quit


Steadily pushing forward
Looking up to the Lord
Praying for open doors
While sharpening up my sword


Masking my tears with sweat
Knowing it ain’t over yet
Making sure I’m equipped
And ready for success


Not letting this break me
Refusing to let it take me
Not caring who may hate me
All that I’ve overcome makes me


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.

J.S. Russell is a poet incarcerated in Maryland.