healing power of nature

Linda Keagle

Linda Keagle

The outside yard at Chittenden Correctional Facility is very small in comparison to the acres of land that Vermont’s incarcerated women used to walk (and garden) at the Swanton prison up north.  The women are allowed outside three times per week.

After a recent visit to the yard, one of our writinginsideVT participants penned the poem below.  ED’s piece demonstrates the healing power of the natural world for these women residing in a facility devoid of color and beauty, as well as connects them to a vision of more hopeful days beyond the razor wire.

Loveliness in Nature

The ground beneath my feet –
moist earth clinging to my shoes,
to be outside is quite a treat,
what a way to shake the blues.

Sunshine beating down on me
leaving me tanned in its glow,
it’s my favorite place to be,
better than any other that I know.

A hawk circles gracefully
beneath the puffy clouds –
it glides along so easily
without ever making a sound.

I stop to admire a butterfly
on the razor wire,
then it softly flutters by,
going effortlessly higher.

The splendors of nature
are there for all to enjoy,
beautiful things that endure,
on display for every girl and boy.

There’s a loveliness to be found,
even in this awful place
here, in nature, beauty abounds,
despite the tight, cramped space.

It’s now heading for sundown,
so, it’s back to my dark cell –
I can’t help but frown,
going back into that hell.

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