You esteem yourself better than the rest
Because of the stars pinned to your chest.
But somehow the irony escapes you
For you, dear friend, are in prison, too.
Bound by perceptions and concepts you can't understand.
Unseen shackles and manacles adorn your hands.
You wear them proudly, they fit you well.
How do medals stay pinned to such empty shells?
To ask you to lift a finger, or simply push a button
Is to somehow make you the victim of some great injustice.
The wages you receive would be better spent
Educating a young mind, not for paying your rent.
You dare look down at your nose, like we are the disgrace
But your truth betrays you, even in this place.
The cling and clang you constantly hear
Are not the shackles placed on us, my dear.
Your chains escort you from place to place
Your bondage is evident, you can't hide your face.
The time is coming, and soon all will know
Our taxes are wasted on YOU, Sgt. Joe.
Your power rests solely here in these walls
But the power will shift when the right gavel falls.
So laugh now, Sgt. Joe; make ME your wisecrack.
In just a little while, the number will be on your back.
If you or someone you know is a currently or formerly incarcerated person with creative content to offer, please submit your materials to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch! We'll share the content on social media and always give credit to the artist(s) involved. Any type of submission--whether stories, poems, illustrations, music, videos or something else--are welcome! Angelo D. Golatt is currently incarcerated at David Wade Correctional Center.