Poem inspired by a prison visit

Suzette with her ex-husband

Suzette with her ex-husband

(Suzette Soltero wrote the following poem while visiting her ex-husband who is serving 28 years. He  has completed 18 so far):

The trip is dreadful, lots of trees pretty houses and women with children in a van going to visit loved ones that have been away in “confined quarters.”

Long roads with minimal lights & cars while still dark outside everyone trying to make themselves comfortable trying to sleep until their arrival and the driver calls out the facility’s name.

Writing information on a piece of paper, informing who you are.

Lockers holding belongings that aren’t permitted while you walk thru scanners hoping you don’t ring.

Florecent number stamping on the right hand slamming heavy doors bob-wires tall walls blue uniforms w/badges some w/hard faces others more relaxed greet you.

Escorted walks assigned seats & bells ringing while grown men in green come out the designated door giving a quick hello while they walk to check in.

Hugs, kisses, hand shakes, pounds, happy eyes, big smiles change for the vending machines singles for pics which capture the days visit five hours of conversation, memories, hopes & dreams children crying, playing happiness sadness – emotions, feelings all trapped in the visit room guarded by those blue uniforms w/badges as they look at every movement that is done.

The clock ticks & times flies & the moment to depart approaches like a thief in the night.

Emptiness fills the room as everyone prepares for that moment.  Children pull their daddy’s crying saying “let’s go” for they don’t understand.  Mothers, wives, girlfriends, significant others try to be strong as they say goodbye not to make the men in the green feel worse but emptiness fills the room.

A too familiar feeling as those heavy doors open & close behind you you feel as half your soul in left and entwined with the bob-wires handing the paper back getting your belongings & boarding the van again to see those long roads with minimal lights & a few more cars filling the highway.

All you remember is the smile try to rewind the moment you spend as you look at the picture breathing it all in until you feel it in your heart closing your eyes thinking, wondering what does the man in green feel right at that very moment.

Maybe one day your soul will be untwined & you will feel whole again but for now all you have to look forward too is “THE VISIT!”

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About Sandeep Junnarkar

Sandeep Junnarkar is the founder and editorial director of Family Lives Behind Bars.