One of the hard things about going in and out of prison each week is we go out, leaving the women in. Another is witnessing the waiting. Waiting for sentencing, waiting for release, waiting for treatment, waiting for visitors, waiting for encouragement, waiting for help, waiting for housing, waiting for family to reconnect with them, waiting to max out. Waiting. And waiting some more.
For one woman in particular, the wait is excruciating, mixed as it is with layers of factors that are interwoven and can apparently not be separated. She should be in treatment; she should be getting help with language; she should be sent home to serve out her sentence. She should get credit for exemplary behavior and leadership while inside. She should be treated with basic respect and compassion. But ‘should’ doesn’t carry weight here. And so, she waits. And waits. And we hope the weight of her anguish does not extinguish the faint hope she nurtures inside that someone will hear, will help. Soon. To end her wait.
In her own words:
Open doors of Hope
letting go toward the body of earth
towards each other
even what’s flowing inside of my veins.
You’re the only one who can give me
Maybe it’s the way I might wait?
Depending on you, I do.
Show me the way I should wait.
Seeing your hands of transparency which call me . . .
Where do you bring me?
Where do I belong?
Where my amazing son sings songs?
Promise me you do everything you can
to bring me whereever you want
Soon . . .
Breathing. Faith. Energy. Hope.
All of these are below zero.
Soon . . .
before my precious mom goes.