Michelle West

My life sentence is suffocating both me and my daughter

I am a first-time offender serving a life sentence required by this country’s WAR ON DRUGS.

I have spent 28 years — half of my life — in federal prison, kept away from my only child, Miquelle West.

I am not a poet. I would never profess to be something I am not!

This poem was birthed out of pain.

The pain of separation.

The pain of my decision to protect my daughter instead of saving myself.

The pain I feel for destroying both of our lives.

A pain so sharp it chokes me and makes it hard to…

BREATHE

Inhale
Life
the one I once had
Memories of my daughter
Make me happy & sad

Exhale
the noise
the filth
the germs
the b.s.

Inhale
Things I taught her
Walk with your head up
Proud
You are beautiful
             fabulous
             feminine
Be a lady at all times
Does she still remember?

Exhale
same things different day
work call
4:00 count
mail call
10 minute moves
recall
lights out

Inhale
300 minutes
Daily calls
Dialogue
Between us & them
Emotions
Ride like a roller coaster

Exhale
the anger
the frustration
the good times/bad
this is a test
I wish I never had

The War on Drugs is not simply a war on drugs, it’s a war on everyday citizens. On May 3, 1993, I became a prisoner of this war on drugs and I haven’t seen the light of day since. You can view her full bio here.

The War on Drugs is not simply a war on drugs, it’s a war on everyday citizens. On May 3, 1993, I became a prisoner of this war on drugs and I haven’t seen the light of day since. You can view her full bio here.

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