If life rewinded through time
In reverse through my eyes…
Hair un-grays as I un-age
From 18 years spent in cage
Heart unbreaks as I learn Shelly won’t be dead
Her heart un-attacks and her fever cools on her forehead
Handcuffs come off and gunshots un-shot
Blood goes back into wounds
And tears roll up cheeks
Fear un-felt, pain un-inflicted
Shots un-heard, safety un-stolen from community
I walk backwards to my car and reverse up the block
Turn left instead of right
And go on with Shelly to live a happy life!
Dreams un-die, nightmares un-had and sleepless nights given back
Youngsters un-emboldened, hood stories un-told
Gangs un-grow, youngsters grow up to build homes!
Six life sentences go back to the state
Instead of getting life
Life I create
Six kids with my babe!
Three million dollars go back to the state for my cage
Instead it is invested in parks for kids to play
I go to school and pay taxes
Life is great!
This poem was first published by the Prison Journalism Project. It’s republished here with their blessing and Jessie’s permission.