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A payphone is mounted on prison bars that line a long hallway
Photo by Jason Farrar (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED)

Any news? When you coming home?
Got my auntie asking, 7:10 over the phone
Sitting on a unit, I blew it, never knew I’d lose out on life
Other end of the phone listening to time pass me by
No tears to cry, I ran out a couple months ago
Transient friends holding me down before they hit the road
Every night we reminisce about people that we know
Grateful as hell that we don’t have to do this solo

Living my life, looking back at the good times
Spending my nights in a cell writing these rhymes
Hope it’s a dream, I’ll wake up see it was a lie
Joke’s on me, did the crime, got to do the time

But I’m not the only one doing time
Family pay for fifteen minutes on a recorded line
Schedule weekly visits getting one hour of time
Innocent victims to the system, they just outside
I’m the reason that mama cry
I’m the reason grandma don’t sleep
Got my sister wondering why this shit is happening to me
Big brother dropped the ball, now we all paying the fee
Every night I pray that God and my family forgive me

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.

Nova is a poet incarcerated in Washington, D.C. He uses a pseudonym.