BEYOND BARS: Woe Please! (Poem)

By Damion Wilson-El
Cumberland, MD

My jumpsuit fit snugly
For the thousands of people who’ve worn it
Trying to figure out five years was a warning
To teach my drug addiction and possession
A lesson
Two million people
Counting on a blessing
Hundreds of thousands
Waiting on a suggestion
Of right
Mass souls
Incarcerated tight
Locked behind decisions made
Through Congressional might
Through Legislative insight of wrong
And the wrong that some of us have done
In spite
Of the pun intended
Through “Rehabilitation”
The incarcerated nation
Ain’t feeling the participation
Of rehabilitation
Especially for the life sentence
That you sentence to the one
Who never touched the gun
That was hidden beside the drugs
That he was convicted of

To state mandatory sentences
Federal guidelines
And wrongful convictions
A national okay with building more prisons
Stock shares soar through sentences

To those in privately owned positions
To the United States of Admissions
Into a society of shackles
Handcuffs and mat-rolls
For those who have to sleep on the floor
Trying to endure
Mass incarceration
And the schism
Of recidivism

To recidivism
And the false claim to
Our minds
We don’t want there to be another time
We don’t want there to be another crime
Please! Don’t mass incarcerate me
And me!
And me!
And we!