From first days in jail: I am the “she”

Surrounded by women similarly paying for colossal mistakes

Bewildered about who to trust

Suspicious of small offers of kindness

Terrified to talk

Experience: desperately alone

Alone yet never alone

Perpetually watched

Even as she sleeps (or makes the attempt)

Longing for privacy & connection

Time to sob out her grief alone

Then be held & comforted

Sunshine provides brief moments of comfort

Fleeting warmth

She sits in it when she can

Soaks in the rays, body, mind & soul

She laughs momentarily, playing cards

Is stricken, appalled that she could.

Does her family ever laugh?

She wonder, doubts, hopes they may.

Her most prized possession a tiny pencil stub

Nearly too short to sharpen further

Symbolic of her connection to the world

Her vehicle of self-expression

Cold, hard, angular, security blanket

Obsessed, she carries it continually

Books, as always, her refuge

Once engulfed in the novel

She escapes, under the Mississippi River,

To places & people far away

Cries their tears

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