The Crowd – Casual Republicans or Walking Democrats

The Crowd

Casual Republicans or Walking Democrats

by Bullard

Poetry, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022


1). Are those

I suppose

that chose

to just do it like Nike

weather it be

walking to work


ride’n a bike

2). There efforts in all actualality

seem not to contribute

to the clear-air polute

during the a.m.

rush-hour commute

3). Whereas in some cities

the smog

can be as thick as a fog

but that still doesn’t hinder one

from going on a jog

4). While others are too busy trying

to blog

5). Unlimited talk and text is the best way

to describe the vibe….

when it comes to a 5G user

and a wi-fi abuser

6. That’s Starbucks talk for

hi-speed internet

that’ll provoke one to quickly

grab a seat

in an environment that is neat

7. WOW!!

8. Now it looks like today’s workday

is well on it’s way

9. Even if the clouds in the sky

looks to be in 50 shades of gray.




by Letecia Burch

First place winner, Fiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022

I grew up with a woman who inhabited a different world

from the loving carefree mothers of my friends.

Not saying she didn’t love me.

She showed it in a different way.

I had more of a friend than a mother

I couldn’t tell them apart

and definitely didn’t know where to start.

My mothers feelings were like intense colors—

fiery reds, soft pinks, earthy greens and the deepest slate gray.

Why should I write of teardrops falling

if your no longer there to wipe them away.

Silently obscuring the timeless tells that follow.

Who’s fingers traced the outline of my face

when I cried tears of sorrow

not knowing I’m on borrowed time.

Soon youd leave and this time I cant call or follow

for a beautiful soul who would never come back

I try and catch my breath

when I feel the panic attack.

It might be quicker and silent to sink into quicksand

to disappear beneath its surface

I’ve always thought and been told

pick your head up you have a purpose

It’d be so much easier to just let go but I cant

because of not the chance of seeing her again

is so clear seeing the pearly white gates of heaven

I can’t wait to be with you again.

In art class they taught us that sunlight contains all the colors of the rainbow.

You were my sunlight.

You taught me how to find a rainbow.

You’ll forever be in my heart.

What Goes on at the County Jail

What Goes on at the County Jail

by Bullard

Third place winner, Fiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022


  1. Where the commissary is the bail

While the frail

Complain that the milk is spoiled

And the bread is way too stale

  1. Meanwhile,

Mail is also being pass-out like a

Hygiene kit

To all those

I suppose

That is willing to use it

  1. You see

Everybody knows that a shower

Can devour


Along with the help of some soap

It shouldn’t hurt

  1. And speaking of pain

What about the insane

Thought of having a smelly celly

The type that lies thru his teeth

Even on the tele

One of the reasons why….

  1. The phone ,ay be hard to use


Since there are those that want to


  1. From a candle lit

To a fuse

  1. From a word that curse

To a nice nurse

That’ll come to your aid

With a bottle of Gatorade

  1. From the county of Dade

All the way to the county jail

Where the “fresh flavor”

Is a savior

Similar to what spinach does for

Popeye the sailor

  1. From Brutus to Olive Oil

Some may feel as if they’re in

“Hot Water”

And no Im not talking about the kind

That boil

  1. Good grief!!
  1. From a deputy to a police chief
  1. From sweetgreen to sweetleaf
  1. With this Imma keep it brief

And say to all that red

  1. Thank-you


Have a nice day

  1. Even if the clouds in the sky are in

50 shades of a darker gray.

Public Command’s All Street’s Donational’s De-Man-da-Ment’$

Public Command’s All Street’s Donational’s De-Man-da-Ment’$

by Christ Joshua M. Fletcher

Fiction/Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022


If ¢aught by Christ Jo$hua, thy man of your lord GOD. It will be a $ame day fine of $300.00 or a ¢itizen arre$tment will be made.

If, heared out in publi¢ the letter$ O.M.G. or name ¢alled in vain, Chri$t Jo$hua or not ¢alled to be needed a $500. to $1,000 fine of $ame day need’$ to be paid in full.

When you lie to thy $elf & lie in the pre$ant’s of your lord & $avior for not #01 Perfect rea$on a $250. to $500 fine $ame day payment in full.

When Chri$t Jo$hua walks up & a $moke $e$$on i$ going, just contribute for Native ¢ause. If not $175 to $300 in ful ¢ash & along w/your $moke. Plu$ if not are$t will be citizen reque$t per weak will be made!! HA HA HA

If caught $elling Native tree’$ to the young youth and not age 18 & older, All tree’$ will be taken on $pot w/arre$tment being made, Plu$ $ame day payment’$ of $1,000.

Princess Can Prosper

Princess Can Prosper

by Mary Taylor

First place winner, Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022


* The Beginning *


2022 — Who would’ve known I would end up here again at A.C.J. or with a new record.


Let’s go back to 97-98. A senior. I know High School was a time your suppose to find yourself and have fun becoming an adult, not me I hated school. That was the year I lost my virginity and found out my mother smoked crack.


See growing up in Elementary School my mom was a drunk her and her BF would drink Velicoff by the gallon. If she wasn’t out with a man she was drunk. I got beat for no reason and kept up on school nights. That’s what I called mental & physical abuse.


In Junior High I participated in every after school activity I could: Cheerleading, Pom-Pom, Double Dutch and Basketball just to escape from the reality of home. I have no siblings it was just me. So in school I didn’t know how to be a good friend or share not to mention I was shy and my wardrobe wasn’t up to par. Shoot, sometimes I had to wear the same thing twice a week and also it didn’t help I couldn’t read.


Yep you guessed it I graduated and couldn’t read they just passed me by, but one thing I could do was write a helleva essay and I was good at it.


My senior year I got accepted to two colleges: U.D.C. and Wesleyan. I knew I wasn’t going to college. There was only so many bathroom breaks I could take when it was my turn to read. So college definitely wasn’t an option. I took the easy way out and got a job at McDonalds and went to Sanz School for medical assistant, but that didn’t last long.


Terminology kicked my I quit and got me a job at Marshalls, on my way to and from work I would teach myself to read. That’s when I met my son’s father the man I fell in love with, what I thought was love. That’s when everything went down hill.


My 1st Love


I was in love actually he was my first love, we were inseparable. I would sneak him into my room and he would sneak me into his mancave. I was 18 then and he was 21 and neither of our grandmother’s was having it. I thought I had me a good man neither one of us smoked or drank at least I thought.


One night I went 2 his house after work and he got a phone call all of a sudden he became adamant about taking some movies back to Blockbusters. I told him I want to go to, but he told me, “No” Red flag. Anyway long story short his grandmother caught me in his bed and called me every name in the book. Once I got outside I saw him in a car smoking weed with some girl. I just looked at them and walked away. I was hurt until I heard the girl tell him to go after me. Of course he did and I forgave him.


In 1999 we both decided we needed our own placed and moved on R St. NW. In February I found out I was pregnant. We were both still working and everything was good until we found out our rent was damn there $1000 because of my income. So I had to quit my job to make it more affordable.


After that things got worst. One of his sisters moved in and we didn’t get along and he started hanging around females and smoking weed alot, and I hated it. I wasn’t getting no attention and then he lost his job and had the nerve to take it out on me and told me to get an abortion. I like to died, but I knew that wasn’t an option. I would move back home 1st.


Anyway he started hustling with his BG down the west and everything was good money was coming in his sister and I was getting along. At this point I’m 5 months and I found out I was having a boy and I had chlamydia. Do you know this nigga had the nerve to say I gave it to him. I left him and moved back home. A month after that the apartment was raided looking for his sister’s boyfriend, and who did he come running to yep me.


At that point our relationship was over the trust was gone but I still loved him. In November 21st I gave birth to my son 9 lb 10 ozs 21 in. At HUH by C-Section.


My son’s father was some shit he may have came everyday to see him but through labor he was ghost. I left in 5 days but my son stayed 20 days due to complications and I didn’t even indulge.


After his birth I started kicking it with some girls from school. And through them I met Tony Bone and found a G.G.G.F. [good girl friend]. T.B. loved me and my son like he was his. I was 19 and he was 28 and a male hoe.


After what I been through my heart was shut down for repair. So I started messing with both of them on the side.


Good Girl Gone Bad


In 2003 I moved to Woodland SE. I should’ve listened to my family when they said “no way.” I got back with my son’s father and everything was good at least I thought we were working, I bought a car. Then here comes his BF came and put him on again from there he started back hustling. Dude’s there didn’t like that he was in their territory, so they started stealing and robbing him, but that didn’t stop him.

Next thing you know an informant told on him and they raided the house but no one was there. Once again God spared us. I was so scared I thought we should stay with his sister for awhile, that was 2004 that’s when shit hit the fan he started smoking PCP and I was his punching bag. All his money and time went to PCP. There were blackouts, some times he got lost, and don’t forget the flock of dipper heads around. That drug was taking so much of his time.


I tried it and liked it, it was the worst mistake of my life.


When we saw not charges were filed we moved back to our apartment he started hustling again this time my aunt moved in which smoked crack so money was flowoing like water. He got locked up again and he went away for 3 years and I was lfet with a vicious habit. I started taking over the hustling by day and while at work my aunt had the night shift.


The girls around there already didn’t like me because I was fly they really hated me now. I had to idea what this drug was [doing] to my brain, but I loved this drug and it didn’t love me back.


Then I started hanging with this girl who was the devil. At this point Im catching charges every other year. I was so gone I decided to steal my neighbors truck. I pack all my clothes in the truck put my turtle in the front seat with the seatbelt on. I had no money but I was moving to NY to sell my ass for a living, before I left I got 4 dippers and pulled off without paying.


At this moment it’s 2008, my son’s father is home but wants nothing to do with me because I won’t stop smoking. You got to be kidding right. The only good thing he did was take my son with him, because I was done. Anyway I got all the way to Baltimore called my BF who is a officer, and decided I wanted to go back. So I went back home and got a U.U.V. [unauthorized use of a vehicle] charge. I was losing my mind. I didn’t know I lost it when my grandma died in 2006, she was like my mom.


So at this point I got 2 yrs Probation, I’m clean working as a Document Specialists and hustling and hanging with this serpent. In 2009, this girl got me jumped and they hit me with a brick. All I could see was this girl who I thought was my friend dancing and laughing while there damn there killing me. HUH released me that same night why I don’t know my face was so messed up the bus drivers wouldn’t even let me on the bus. I was so embrassed.




One thing I can say is I always attendant church on Sunday because it is only by God’s grace I am here to write this. I’m saved and I got baptized twice at 13 and 42 yrs. At my church I’m in the choir and the production crew, but due to Covid 19 I relapsed and it robbed me of everything I owned and my joy. I’m done with that life of drugs.


I want to now become a Peer Specialist and help others leave drugs alone. I just hope God see fit to give me another chance and let me go home.


To Be Continued