Jail (Redemption)

© 02-13-05 John Stevens

I sit outside the jail house, this Sunday afternoon.
I watch the parade of people, going in and out so soon.
The visits here, come and gone. Time swiftly passes on.
The sadness shows on each face for the one which they belong.

The mother walks with their child, quietly through the door
To see a father not coming home, for many days or more.
They sit and wait so patiently for their short time to be
For twenty minutes on the phone, their “daddy” they will see.

So close are they but yet so far, no touching through the pane.
Fingers spread, hearts are breaking, their future down the drain.
The question on the little lips, will daddy come home now?
Soon, we hope, my dear child, maybe next week, somehow.

The parents come to visit him, with thoughts of shattered dreams.
The hopes they had for many years, are gone, so it seems.
They put on a smile, push back fears, to keep alive some hope.
They wonder “why, what went wrong, how will we ever cope?”

The pain inflected, bad decisions, when drugs have taken hold.
Ruined lives of those around them, the broken promise told.
His family grieves the senselessness, of life’s potential lost.
Hope now seems a fleeting dream, the family pays the cost.

Then comes a chance from the judge, “six months” he did say.
“To turn your life around for those who care for you, today.
A broken promise turns months to years, so get it right this time.
Don’t let them down, keep hope alive, as from this hole you climb.”

A broken life, a shattered dream, seems lost in the eyes of man.
When darkness falls, and hope is gone, when all has hit the fan.
God can mend the broken life, He turns darkness into light.
Forgiveness comes to those who ask, through grace and mercy’s might.

For those who choose to dream a dream of a better life to see.
Those who choose to change their hearts, the chains fall off, they’re free.
They turn their back and walk away from the old life to sever.
Redemption is a choice away, where lives are changed forever.

Rev 03-04-05


3 Comments to “Jail (Redemption)”

  1. admin says:

    From Hello Poetry
    Neva Flores Jun 28, 2010
    Such an excellent write!

    John Stevens Jun 28, 2010
    This piece has gone into prisons and according to an inmate, my grandson daddy, there were not many dry eyes when he shared it with others. Thanks. And yes, he is out of prison and doing well but that is another story.
    Chris G J Smith Jun 28, 2010
    This is riviting, and a must read for everyone. Brilliant.

    John Stevens Jun 28, 2010
    This piece has gone into prisons and according to an inmate, my grandson daddy, there were not many dry eyes when he shared it with others. Thanks.
    Patti Masterman-Heterodynemind Jun 29, 2010
    It is a very compassionate thing. I’ve heard terrible stories; men accused and going to jail for many years, and finally after many, many years, somebody realizes a grievous mistake had been made; but those years are gone now..perhaps that is the unusual case, but still this writing brought it to mind. Great job and perhaps will result in more empathy for our brothers behind bars.
    Jack Varnell Jun 30, 2010
    Nice piece John. having been on both sides of that fence I can attest to the truth behind your verse. Interestingly enough there are-have been numerous Prison Poetry Projects used to encourage and educate that population and in fact I believe San Quentin has numerous Chapbooks available.

    Nice work.

    John Stevens Jun 30, 2010
    Jack, With me it is not where you have been that counts, it is where you are going. I read some of your submissions… heavy stuff. How does today look?

    Jack Varnell Jul 1, 2010
    Words from long ago, a different life in play. Thx.

    John Stevens Jul 1, 2010
    That is what I needed to here.
    Delores Wiltse Jun 30, 2010
    This gave me chills! A heartfelt connection. Great job!

    John Stevens Jun 30, 2010
    I wrote it in Feb while sitting in the jail parking lot waiting for the inspiration to do my job… talk with a couple of inmates. I was getting chilled for different reason. It rather wrote itself. All I did was report on what I observed and added a bit. I get that feeling when the flag goes by. Thanks for your comment.

    Delores Wiltse Jul 1, 2010
    I understand when you say “it rather wrote itself” – comes from a different place for me :)
    Christopher Rossi Jul 2, 2010
    This is extremely good ! Great messege!

    John Stevens Jul 2, 2010
    I did and it takes me back to the tough ole days.

  2. JT-TJ says:

    John… another great piece my friend.

  3. Cathy Voss says:

    This one really tugged at my heart as I have sat in that waiting room many times to visit my son. You captured the emotions perfectly. Thank you for sharing this piece with me.
    Thanks Kathy. John

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