3 Days and 2 Nights

By IS

Content Warning: Appendicitis, Medical Neglect

For 3 days and 2 nights I suffered inside a cell
Inside the grips of death my body screamed for help
No words can ever describe the fear and pain I felt
To die before 25 my body’s killing itself
No opportunity to help myself, my rights were stripped away
So I turn to those in charge but they tell me that I’m okay
I cry out please I’m in pain!
My condition still unexplained!
Don’t neglect me ‘cause of these chains!
To do so is inhumane! But still…
I sat for 3 days and 2 nights
Inside this ring with Death my body’s losing this fight
Not once, but twice, they told me I’d be alright
My body’s screamin they’re wrong
My soul’s hoping they’re right
fearing that if I sleep I will travel into the light
fearing that if I don’t I won’t make it through out the night
So I stayed patient and prayed
And ask God to remove this pain
By the virtue of His Greatest names
Through prayer I had been saved
for 3 days and 2 nights, through these moments I have been changed
Though these scars will still remain
My mentality is not the same

24 Comments

  1. Reece White on November 29, 2021 at 10:49 AM

    The way you described the pain you were feeling was really effective. felt like I was experiencing your pain while I was reading the poem.

  2. Stephen DeSantis on November 29, 2021 at 10:49 AM

    I thought that the rhythm of this poem was really good because almost every line rhymed and tied together in some sort of way to each other. The poem is also very easy to understand. The man was in jail going through a lot of pain and then he begged got for mercy and god helped in when we prayed for three days and two nights.

  3. nim khan on November 29, 2021 at 1:30 PM

    This is a very captivating poem. I love how you wrote about your personal experience and you were able to write a poem using that experience.

  4. Katie on November 30, 2021 at 1:04 PM

    This poem is really good. I enjoy all of the uses of rhyme and the brilliant patterns that were created throughout. You rhymed some words that I wouldn’t have even thought of using, but you did so in such a natural way. My personal favorite was chains and unexplained. Even though they don’t end on the same syllable, they still have that familiar tone that makes reading an easier experience. The words were very specific, having the reader be immersed into the poem as they read each line, wondering what would be talked about next. The poem emphasizes less on the pain being felt, though still very clear, but more on the neglected feeling of feeling like nobody cares, like nobody would wonder what happened. The time span as well is given off so early on so the reader is aware of this throughout, being able to really understand how hard it was while knowing how long this happened for. I truly enjoyed the writing as well, it made me feel a pang in my heart for this trauma that was experiences. My word of advice is to keep going! You have a real talent and I think you’re capable of many more fantastic pieces.

  5. Flynn Lenahan on December 3, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    This poem speaks to the unfortunate dehumanizing we see in today’s prison systems and is truly sad to see. I like this poem and how this story flowed well mostly talking about the suffering within the suffering and is a terrible experience.

  6. Francisco Salinas on December 11, 2021 at 3:27 AM

    Hi IS. I am a student from a community-service driven class. Hey man. I think it is great that you have a faith as it is a main provider of hope. I sympathize for you that for the first 3 days and 2 nights that you were in solitude, you felt pain, not only mentally, but throughout your body. I hope that surgery follows the appendicitis. I also wanted to say that you are strong for having to share your feelings in the first place. What makes the poem unique is how you compared your body fighting death in a ring. I imagined a boxing ring, so for you to use an analogy that connects to the common man’s slang, it allows for clear communication between you and the reader. What is also great from a writing perspective is how you made a contrast with your fears such as in “fearing that if I…” It adds character to the poem. One final piece of feedback was as I was reading these particular lines, I found the urge of wanting more of these particular phrases and metaphors. Speaking from the heart, I hope you do well, man. Take care of yourself and keep on writing.

  7. nim khan on December 15, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    I love how you used your personal experience and turned it into such an interesting poem

  8. Billie Marcheva on December 15, 2021 at 9:54 PM

    Hello IS,
    Thank you so much for sharing this poem. I empathize so much with the trauma you experienced. There is NOTHING acceptable about how the prison industrial complex treats people, and I am truly sorry you have been treated this way. Your health and well-being are important and I am so sorry that isn’t reflected in how you’re treated. You deserve better. Keep fighting. I believe in you.

  9. Roxanne on January 8, 2022 at 10:26 PM

    Dear IS,

    Wow what happened to you is truly awful. It’s completely heartbreaking to read of your pain and suffering- thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience. Your poem is both so ugly and yet very beautiful in the expression of your ordeal. I hope that someone who can reach you and help you reads your poem and makes a change so this never happens again. I wish you healing and better health and for no more harm to come to you. Warm regards, Roxanne

  10. Michaela Bender on January 11, 2022 at 9:28 PM

    Oh my gosh. I am so sorry; nobody should ever have to suffer like that. Technically speaking, this poem is smooth, the timing of breaks and rhymes are well synced, and it was “easy” to read (as in, written well). It was also difficult to read, as the content was tough and called upon memories of my own experience with medical neglect. Again, I am so sorry, and I hope you’re in better hands now. Your work is a joy, and I hope you continue with it!

  11. Michelle Pincus on January 13, 2022 at 1:58 PM

    Dear IS,
    You did a fantastic job “showing” and not “telling” the reader about your pain in this poem. Your use of boxing references is very powerful and impactful and serves to illustrate the many different “fights” that you were experiencing at that time.
    I look forward to reading more of your work, keep writing!!
    Michelle

  12. Temp Johnson on January 26, 2022 at 8:50 PM

    IS – In your words, the terror of your 3 days and 2 nights is so real. It aches to hear of your pain, the neglect of others, the inhumanity. And then the last two lines takes your poem from outstanding to brilliant. My thanks for your poem, Temp

  13. Maddie on February 4, 2022 at 4:30 PM

    this poem was really beautiful. The way you described your feelings was chilling. You were really able to put the listener in your shoes. Well written!

  14. Mari on February 17, 2022 at 1:33 PM

    This is a really raw and powerful poem. I’m sorry you went through this, but glad that the power of prayer sustained you.

  15. Megan McTaggart on February 17, 2022 at 1:43 PM

    I loved the refrain of the time it took for them to care for you. Because when you’re in pain, you can feel like time stretches out. So I liked that you kept reminding us of the time. Absolutely powerful.

  16. Carlee Ehmer on February 18, 2022 at 7:30 PM

    The repetition of the title is very impactful. I really liked the phrase “Inside this ring with Death” and the idea of medical neglect was very prevalent and well done. The emotion was present and evoked a lot of sympathy.

  17. Cole on February 27, 2022 at 6:33 PM

    The mental toll of being so close to help but having it constantly pulled away from you must be just as agonizing as the physical toll. I am sorry, and this system must change. People are people and should be treated as people

  18. KC on April 7, 2022 at 4:18 PM

    IS,

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing this traumatic moment. I can feel your pain that you describe. I am so relieved to hear you are in good health and stronger for it. Keep writing!

  19. Ariella Mitchell on April 18, 2022 at 7:07 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing such a painfully, intimate story. We are so sorry you had to go through this and glad you made it in order to share this story.

  20. Kaitlyn R. on April 24, 2022 at 5:17 PM

    IS, first let me say that I am so sorry the system failed you in providing the necessary medical attention you needed. I am so glad that you are here today to share your story with others. I cannot imagine what you went through physically, and what you continue to go through mentally. I’m sure your trust for the staff is basically ruined, but I hope it is not that way for everyone you encounter. My hope for you is that when you look at your scar, you are reminded of God’s love. I can’t imagine the pain you endured those 3 days and 2 nights, but you are here today and are using your voice in a powerful way. Thank you for sharing your story.

  21. Nasim S. on April 25, 2022 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you for sharing this poem. Your experience matters. It is horrifying and awful that the prison system refuses to provide medical care to incarcerated individuals. It is humane, no one should ever experience that.

  22. Kaitlyn Solberg on April 28, 2022 at 3:15 PM

    Dear IS,
    I was awed by the power and impact you created throughout this poem. You have managed to create a splendid balance between telling us your story, but also alluding to the bigger issue within the system; those individuals who are incarcerated often face unequal access to healthcare and experiences injustices in the care offered. You’ve appeared to do so by splitting the poem between your emotions, whether that be anger, hope, or praying, and lines that reference your absent care being a result of the chains. I loved your crafted use of end rhyme throughout this piece as I thought it created a wonderful cadence and rhythm while reading. I related quite personally to your poem because I work in healthcare, on an ambulance, and respond to calls such as yours, within various facilities. Regardless of circumstance, everyone should have the right to medicine and healthcare. Unfortunately, your story is something that happens far too often, even though it shouldn’t happen at all. I can’t begin to imagine, beyond your description, the tumultuous emotions you felt during that very uncertain time. If I had any advice to offer you, it would simply be to continue writing from such raw places because you have a gift in writing such compelling words that connect to your readers on an emotional level.
    KS, Minnesota

  23. PA on May 11, 2022 at 6:44 PM

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, IS. In the U.S. prison system we dehumanize people and it’s wrong. I hope your poem gets seen by people all over because they need to hear the stories of real people, real human beings, who are neglected and denied basic dignity because of the label “criminal.” Keep writing and keep sharing your story. It’s moving, and I hope it can inspire some people to change their mind and have a little more compassion.

  24. Katelyn Flanigan on May 18, 2022 at 12:47 AM

    Having been through appendicitis myself I cannot imagine the pain you went through having to deal with it for 3 days. Just because someone is locked up does not mean they do not deserve to receive medical help and be taken seriously. They should have taken you seriously the first time and gotten you medicine and into surgery and I am so sorry the system failed you in that not once but twice. No one should die in jail because they were essentially blown off when said they were in pain and your story makes me wonder how many have gone through this same thing. I am glad you were finally able to get help but my heart hurts at the thought of the pain you went through and the pain others have gone through. Everyone deserves to be seen by a medical professional and to be taken seriously and this shouldn’t happen to anyone.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The poets featured here are currently incarcerated, and many of them are in federal prisons far from home. Your feedback is a valuable source of motivation and connection to the outside community. Post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem. Messages will be passed on directly to the author. Comments may not appear immediately on the site, as our team processes them to mail to the poets.