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Prison Poetry


Dateline San Quentin State prison, South block, Alpine section, entry 2: Play now, Pay later.

Picking up the pieces one day at a time. I find myself stranded somewhere between nowhere and goodbye.

My surroundings are familiar but comfort eludes me. I'm so alone yet my cell feels crowded.

I can't escape this place in my thoughts and I always run to you. You are the smile on my face and the strength that gets me through.

When I dream at night we are together again. When I awake in the morning I wish that dream would never end.

But here I am awake in my own living hell. Locked down 23 hours a day sharing a 5.5' x 7.5' cell.

They only let us outside two days a week. Then society wonders why we act like animals when we finally get released to the streets.

So here I am now strolling the yards with my hand held to the sky. I wish that someone, I am that tear in your eye.

I work out daily with the mirror to see my physique. All I see are other convicts doing the same thing and I don't want to look weak.

Still no letters, they tell me. The mail is slow. I say no big deal. I will write to the editor and the world will know.

I never expected anyone to hang on my every word. I just wanted to let you know what it's like to be the opposite of a free bird.

So until next time I'll continue to write. I hope my loved ones don't forget me. Something like out of mind, out of sight.

You know what I'm saying. I'm just backwards because I'm in here. I start my days at night. Thanks again for reading and listening. I just wanted to drop another kite into the wind.


Ronnie Rhea

San Quentin

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