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A close-up illustration of a barred gate with light shining through.
Photo from Unsplash

this cold lonely cell held
a cold metal locker painted black

this cold lonely cell
with its one small window that looks out at the yard
and the walls that imprison me
but that's not all I can see
as I peer through to skies and trees

this cold dirty cell
with its steel cot
two lights
porcelain bowl and sink
a broken radiator provides no heat

but I layer my clothes
exercise to work my muscles
and bundle up in this green blanket and sheets
when I go to sleep

no matter what it is I see
in this cold cell
the one thing I know doesn't belong here is me

I've seen rats coming in
spiders hanging out
roaches on the floor
and walls
just walking about
flies in the air
ants scampering around without making a sound
paint peeling from the walls of this decrepit place

I'm in a cage
can you relate

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.

Ron O'Neal is the self-published author of "Prisoners Of Poetry." O’Neal, who writes under a pseudonym, is incarcerated in New York.