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A stack of handwritten letters
Photo by bgwalker on iStock

How many ideas have escaped the ears of the remarkable?
Handwritten letters, a lost art, only picked up by those pulled
from society, ushered to the “back of the bus,” clinging to words
they’ve written, college-ruled paper scattered across tiled floors.
Out-of-date pen strokes seen as unprofessional and uneducated,
blue and black ink, letters stamped, words expressed by authors
from inside, caged to the stigma of criminal, notebooks organized
by year, each drowning in pain. The anguish of isolation, shamed
by family, shunned by friends, pen and paper is put to use, black
and blue ink matching our bruised hearts, we have a right to write!
Pick up your pens, fellow felons, your words need to be heard.

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.

Miranda Gilbert is a poet incarcerated in Virginia.