Thursday, October 13, 2022

From the Iowa Prison Writing Project


Submitted by fellow writer and inmate John Randall Hart, who writes:


“I am including a poem entitled “Prison Life” by Jeremy Reysack, a fellow inmate, who, when he heard I was a published poet, asked me to read his poem. I was happy to do so and even happier to discover his poem was both skillful and heartfelt. He had no expectation of publication, but I told him I would be delighted to send this along to you folks. With his permission I made only two minor edits to his original: (1) Dropped the final “g” from present progressive verbs, and (2) added breaks between the rhymed couplets. My edits simply reflect how he read it to me.”


Prison Life


It’s waitin’ on letters when you’re doin’ time

and your family won’t write or send you a dime


It’s waitin’ on visits that never take place

from friends and loved ones who forget your face


It’s hearin’ them lie and say they’re tryin’

makin’ you promises but you know they’re lyin’


It’s makin’ plans with someone you thought you knew

but their plans suddenly changed and they didn’t include you


It’s hearin’ them say how much they care

but in your time of need they’re never there


It’s hearin’ them promise and it goes straight to your head

but when push comes to shove they leave you for dead


It’s feelin’ and love, honor and pride

pain and emotions and hurtin’ inside


It’s expressin’ yourself to your loved ones and friends

but they can’t feel your pain cause you’re in the pen


It’s callin’ and hearin’ a block on your phone

but you maintain your cool cause life goes on


It’s really messed up when you’re doin’ time

but that’s prison life: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.