By Sasha Carlisle 

Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021


Never thought I would be grateful for jail – but –

What can I say?

I clearly see how I’ve failed

I recognize my mistakes

My life got knocc’d [knocked] off the rails

I’ve learned to channel my rage

There’s no missteps in my rage

It’s my time to be in this place

Meditation has brought growth

I finally love myself

Nature’s displaying her motions

She labors in my cell

Silence followed the storm – like –

The tropics I’ll rebuild

So I write what I know

The vision is mine to sell

Opportunity’s what I feel

Exactly where I stand

I now find it daily

Since I’ve lost all I’ve planned

My horizon at my feet

My mirage in my hands

In deserts souls deplete

Gotta move through the sand

My oasis is my work

I’d suffer if I’d sleep

Through the streets I would lurk

I’d starve and I’d feast

At least I didn’t get merked

Although I sowed what I reaped

God revealed the jerk

I no longer will be

Once this winter is over

And I stop this hibernating

The grizzly’s gonna emerge

The world’s mine for the taking

Through faith I endure

I’ll make up these days I’ve been wasting

My eyes are filled with vigor

Patience gained from frustration

Through this all we keep advancing

We will pass Satan’s tests

Been to Hell and beyond – shout out –

The homies out west

Incidental circumstances

Prove to me that I’m blessed

Considering how it could’ve gone

My life’s been its best!