why is that?

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Last night’s writing group at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility was cancelled due to lockdown. Why is that? There are a number of possible reasons, none of which was shared with us. Ironically, the previous week we had a lively group of inmates committed to coming weekly and a team equally committed to being there.

But lockdowns happen in prison. So in lieu of sharing new writing, I’m posting the ‘found poem’ created with lines heard from each of the dozen or so women present last week. The writings ranged from feelings about community to courage in words and the value of writing — and just about everything in between. Why is that? Because each group is deep and thought-provoking.

WHY IS THAT? – found poem

If no one cared about me I would be heart-broken.
There is so much more to learn about us,
new stories being hatched, gasping for air,
counting seconds and breathing.

I struggle with what to write,
this fear like a heat lamp.
Will they judge me for feeling,
not seeing what was always there?
How can a feeling be wrong?
My words strip me bare –
my troubles, sorrows and dreams
fear being loved,
trapped in this time zone.

What can I do with my disappointment?
It’s very difficult, this tight spot I’m in,
my loneliness that has hardened into glass.
Certainty has a damaged past, but curiosity has gotten over it,
learns information about the tone and color of my insides.

Truth is, you have to care about yourself,
tiptoe into a new atmosphere.
You may find out something you never knew.
Curiosity knows no boundaries, is an unwritten book.

How could one so meek write a lion’s roar?
I wonder if by the time I leave here I will be someone else
lighter, lightening, almost ready to strike.
Possibility grants us both roots and wings,
a new beginning and maybe a different ending.
What is possible?
Real listening,
more chocolate, bubble baths, and women laughing.

. . . and you?

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