Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

A little girl looks out the window as if waiting for her mother
Photo by yacobchuk1 on Depositphotos

Welcome to PJP’s newest special project, “Love, Mom.” For this collection, we have invited mothers to share their perspectives and experiences surrounding incarceration. We hope that this project will give you, our reader, a better understanding of the impacts of incarceration on families across the country. To view more pieces from the “Love, Mom” collection, please click here.

Away from the world
Away from you
You were 3 years old
I couldn’t tell you the truth
You wouldn’t have understood
But I was also ashamed
Your mother was no good
I was also to blame
Crying when I heard your voice
Smiling when I heard your laugh
No mother in this world
Could ever know the half
Of trying to parent
From behind these walls
Trying to raise you up
Through 30-minute calls
Waiting on Freeprints
Just to watch you grow up
You’re 5 years old now
In September you’ll be moving on up
I say I’m at school
When you ask for me to come home
Thinking that’ll help your feelings of being all alone
One day your favorite color is red
The next it is blue
One day it’s a great one
The next you got a sad face at school
Your granny is there
Standing in my place
Doing all the things I can’t
Keeping you safe
I’m getting my mind together in here
You will be proud
I’m learning mercy
I’m learning grace
I’ve been found
I’ll be home soon
If God feels it’s my time to go
And I’ll do it all over again to make sure
These walls are something you’ll never know

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Asja Aguirre is a writer and mother incarcerated in Texas.