Inmate Poetry

Inmate Poetry

Lost in the Shuffle

How often have you been sleeping and another offender yells over your head? How often have you calmly asked for a little consideration regarding the noise level while you’re sleeping? Are you familiar with the famous term “this is prison?” All too often that phrase has become the crutch for which women have leaned upon for far too long. This is a sad offering, as to why respect is so blatantly disregarded.

My question is this? What has the environment you’re in got to do with your morals and manners? Why do we use prison as a means in which to throw what we’ve been taught way? When we are free we say “please”, excuse me” and “thank you.” Once we become incarcerated we no longer feel as though we need this system of values. Have you ever noticed how quickly bad news travels? If offenders fight everybody knows five minutes later. Most often the offenders don’t make it to seg before population has heard the news. Yet, if you approach a crowd of females and you begin to speak about Allah, or how many people made parole, nobodies interested. Negative responses are usually what followed. For example, “oh, she’s going home” “well, shell be back. She’s been here before.” Or how about this one – “she’s talking about God. She’s faking.”

Nobody gives positive encouragement when other offenders face adversity. Some even find contentment just knowing someone they don’t like is having a hard time. Now let me strike a nerve. You will also find offender’s who can tell you everyone’s business. They can tell you every word o the newest songs on the radio. They even can tell you where another offender is if they are out of the dorm on a pass. Yet, they don’t know where their children are. You have females who need to be the center of attention so they find someone shows down on their luck to tease. Instead of laughing because someone has the misfortune of not having a hygiene item, why not give that person help? I’ve been incarcerated for twelve years now and I’ve helped a lot of women. I’ve witnessed all sorts of things that are degrading to the character of a woman. What saddens me most is the vision of one’s self worth can be misplaced if it is nurtured.

There are those who hang in crowds with offenders just to fit in. Some wind up in trouble. Some wind up just following. My point for speaking about these things is simple. I don’t want any more people, women in general, “Lost in the Shuffle.” Id you won’t stand for something positive, you’ll most likely fall for anything.

Those of you dare to be different stay strong. Those of you who don’t mind not being a part of a click or crew, I commend you. Those who d don’t reduce themselves to loud, obnoxious behavior, keep it up! We have allowed ourselves as a community of women to throw caution to the wind. For those of you who are mothers, you can still be a steering wheel for your children. You can still have
an impact ion society.

My challenge to you women in prison everywhere is to break the mold. Make your time more than pressing clothes, cooking, and cleaning your cubicle or cell. Dare to be different, dare to step outside the box. You are in prison for a reason. Work towards a particular goal. Don’t just sit around and exist waiting to go home. Prison is where you work out the kinks. Strive for betterment of self. We are all queens. Let us exhibit the character of queens and strive to do deeds of a queen.

To all who read this (men & women) may you all be
victorious! As Salaamu Alaikum!
Telisa Blackman 848568
1916 N. Hwy 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76596


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