My Crack in the Wall

By KC

Every day I awake in an open grave
And leave my slab to walk among the tombs

Massive monuments built to mark bad decisions and love lost
Life and freedom shattered by time being watched over by men with guns

I am not alone, for thousands walk with me
A nation of the undesirables left to rot above ground

Who like crabs hold each other back from reaching peace of mind
They thrive in the misery of their fellow man and thirst for dominance

They think the title King Crab is an honor
Don’t they see? King of the damned is still damned himself

I am different from most here
I walk in the land of the dead focused on life

Time is harsh, but my dreams have never decayed
Stepping stones made from ink on paper keep me on track

Words from loved ones lost, now found, tell me
I am human not an animal, and to never lose myself

Do or die among the dead until you get to the living
And never let the flame of life burn out, it connects us

So, I walk among the tombs every day
Looking for that crack in the wall, that slither of light

Today I’ve found her, and her name is…
Well that doesn’t matter

What matters in the end, today’s a good day
And my crack in the wall has just gotten a little bigger

48 Comments

  1. Markella on September 7, 2020 at 5:43 PM

    Dear KC,
    Your poem is beautiful and powerful! I admire your strength. It must require so much power of your brain and soul to overcome the difficulties that you face everyday and keep your desire for life alive. The fact that you can write these words; the fact that you can feel all these feelings that you express through your poetry, reveals that you have more humanity and gentle feelings inside you than more of the people who walk free in our society. Please continue fighting! Please stay strong! Please continue seeking for the light till the walls that surrround you are shuttered down and you are a free man again.
    With endless respect,
    Markella

  2. Hannah on September 8, 2020 at 8:50 AM

    Your comparison of both dark and light imagery really highlights how hopeful and motivated you are toward a bright future. Great job!

  3. Kendall on September 8, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    I really like the line “What matters in the end, today’s a good day” because I think its important to remember the good things that happen to you in life and to always look for some sort of light even if you had a bad day.

  4. Zo on September 8, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    This was the first poem I read today, and I have a feeling it will be the most powerful one to me. Hope and human character are the strongest things we have in this world, and I can feel your hope through this. I hope that your dreams continue to inspire you!
    One of my favorite lines is “Don’t they see? King of the damned is still damned himself”
    Wow! Your perspective on your situation, and your ability to turn it into a metaphor for other to understand is phenomenal.

  5. Hannah on September 8, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    I like how you refer to “that slither of light”. And finding that little crack in the wall can make your day. It reminds me how it is the little things in life that can make your day better.

  6. Chloe on September 8, 2020 at 8:53 AM

    Hi KC, thank you for sharing this piece. It is so vulnerable and I loved the imagery you created. I especially loved the line “Looking for that crack in the wall, that slither of light”. I loved the dark imagery theme, with hints of light shinning through without a loss of hope. I hope that your crack in the wall continues to grow and the light continues to shine through. -Chloe

  7. Nora on September 8, 2020 at 8:54 AM

    Hi KC

    Your continued use of the death/tombstone analogy is very powerful. Your first stanza in particular is amazing. It opens the poem beautifully and captures the reader. I also really love the third stanza! The line “A nation of the undesirables left to rot above ground” is my favorite of the poem because it is so truthful and gripping. Excellent work!

    –Nora

  8. Simone on September 8, 2020 at 8:57 AM

    Hi KC!

    I absolutely loved this poem. Your metaphor was powerful and descriptive, and I especially love the line, “King of the damned is still damned himself.”
    Your perspective throughout the poem is really wonderful. You were able to capture the power of hope, and what its like to continue to grow and love even when you are surrounded by darkness. Though “death” walks among you, and it seems like its all anyone knows, your sliver of light continues to grow as you have found something/or someone that pulls you back to the living and motivates you to keep going.
    Its a very beautiful poem and I’m really happy I was able to read it.

  9. Anneliese on September 8, 2020 at 8:58 AM

    I love how you talk about focusing on life, your dreams never decaying, and never losing yourself because all of those things are so important in life no matter what you are doing and what your situation is. Also, when you talked about looking for the crack in the wall and the slither of light it really resonated with me because if you look for the light in everything and stay positive that can change your whole outlook on life and improve your days immensely.

  10. Payton on September 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM

    Your poem is truly inspiring and I love your use of diction. The words and comparisons enable to be draw an exact picture within my mind. The way you convey your emotions of being surrounded by the dark, but only trying to seek out the light is so vivid and brings the poem positivity. I really love it!

  11. Olivia on September 8, 2020 at 9:01 AM

    KC, this is such a beautifully written and emotional poem. Hope is such a powerful thing and can truly change your outlook on life. The line “I am different from most here” is such a strong line with so much commitment, I can feel how much it means to you. I am so excited for you to conquer that wall and get the chance to bask in the light.

  12. Ellen on September 8, 2020 at 9:07 AM

    KC, this is a very powerful poem. Your images are stark–“Every day I awake in an open grave” and “I walk in the land of the dead focused on life.” You describe the harsh reality of your environment but your decision to be different and find “that slither of light” is clear. I hope you will think about putting together a book of your poems.
    Ellen

  13. Kelly on September 8, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Wow, what a deep and emotional poem. I loved your use of descriptive words and analogies. As a reader it really helped me to understand the circumstanceS and emotions you are feeling. Wonderful read, thank you for sharing KC.

  14. Antonio Laborte on September 13, 2020 at 1:50 PM

    KC, your ability to connect a metaphorical death within the confines of a prison is disappointingly terrific. The understanding of everyone’s pain; searching for reminders that showcase glimpses of peace or content.. you did great at making powerful statements resonate. Thank you for your art.

  15. Derek H. on September 16, 2020 at 2:07 PM

    This was a great poem! Thank you so much for sharing. The imager of graves and tombs is very powerful. I hope to read more!

  16. nicolegleason on September 16, 2020 at 10:52 PM

    Hi KC. I absolutely love this poem. It manages to capture the angst of your predicament perfectly. And it touches upon the issues that plague those who are incarcerated. The graveyard/gravestone analogy works- it depicts how being incarcerated is akin to being undead in some ways. The stagnation can be compared to a rot.
    You have a gift for being able to form analogies from your reality. I particularly like comparing your good day and your hope for the future to a crack in the wall that has become bigger.
    Thank you for creating such a beautiful poem that so aptly captures what you and many others are facing.
    Sincerely,
    Nicole

  17. Steven on September 17, 2020 at 1:37 AM

    Hi KC! Your sentence of “massive monuments built to mark bad decisions” really stood out to me. That is a very creative way of viewing what I assume is a tombstone you are talking about. It is true that many lives are lost to bad decisions. I myself lost my older brother to suicide. One bad decision that can never be taken back. I have heard the crab metaphor you mention been used before. Crabs are stuck in an endless cycle of pulling each other down in an endless loop. But throughout your poem you maintained an air of resilience and hope. Sentences like “words from loved ones lost, now found” and “never let the flame of life burn out” were very thought provoking. Your ending words of “my crack in the wall has just gotten a little bigger” evoked an image of someone moving through darkness and moving closer and closer to light (freedom). Keep up the hopeful thoughts and excellent writing!

  18. Joshua Redd on September 17, 2020 at 6:34 PM

    This is an amazing poem. My favorite part of this was “king of the damned is still damned himself”. This line refuses to celebrate a theory of “celebrity” or “popularity” for the title that was provided. To be “king” of a group of people that are intentionally cast aside because of neoliberal laziness (in other words: ignored and neglected) one must be one of those people in that community himself. It creates a paradox where as a “king” you are supposed to be revered and admired; as a “king” in prison, you are still a “Prisoner”, a “felon”, a “violent criminal”. What, then, as this poem posits, does it mean to be a king in this sense? It is a small glimmer of communal access that makes you feel less lonely; but, in the end, you still are.

  19. Emma on September 21, 2020 at 9:15 AM

    Thank you for sharing this, KC! I love the way you talk about how important it is to keep the flame of life going because it connects us. I hope you know that you have a really amazing ability to touch people with your words like this, which certainly keeps the flame of life from burning out.

  20. Alison on September 25, 2020 at 11:10 AM

    This poem is SO much better than anything I was ever forced to read in school. Please keep writing. I’m happy the crack in your wall has gotten a little bigger 🙂

  21. Angela on September 29, 2020 at 7:35 PM

    I really appreciate the hope that underscores this piece in the phrases like “my dreams have never decayed.” I hope your crack in the wall keeps getting bigger, and I hope you continue to grow your talent.

  22. Abigail Cross on September 29, 2020 at 7:54 PM

    -KC,
    I like the use of metaphor in this poem. It allows the reader to really be able to imagine the events as they are described in the poem. I hope you continue to write, because you are really talented at it.

  23. Kellyn on September 29, 2020 at 8:03 PM

    I really love this poem and the metaphors you used. “I am different from most here
    I walk in the land of the dead focused on life” is my favorite line, because it reminds me of the importance of perseverance and that there is hope in even the most difficult situations.

  24. Helina on September 29, 2020 at 8:11 PM

    I love the hope you have in life. My favorite line is “Time is harsh, but my dreams have never decayed
    Stepping stones made from ink on paper keep me on track.” Not only is it beautifully written but also a very powerful statement.

  25. Krystal Ramos on September 30, 2020 at 7:23 PM

    This was an amazing piece of work. I enjoyed reading it and even got teary eyed. This really touched my heart talking about hope. I have been lacking it lately and was struggling for a while, and this was just what I needed to pick myself back up. I think it is incredible how you are searching for the light in the darkest situations. Everyone faces dark moments in life no matter who they are. Thank you for sharing this, it meant a lot to me.

  26. Maddie on October 7, 2020 at 2:18 PM

    KC, this poem brought a smile to my face by the time I was done reading it. You write in a very real way. Although your subject matter is heavy, you finish your poem with hope, and that gives me hope, too. I agree with everything said in the other comments; this poem is powerful and very well-written. I hope the crack in your wall continues to grow and you maintain your strength! Share it with those around you who may not have as much, and please continue to write.

  27. Joyce on October 9, 2020 at 2:13 PM

    Dear KC,

    This poem is amazing and inspiring! I am just in awe of your writing ability, I could never write like this. The imagery you use is stunning — lines like “stepping stones made from ink on paper keep me on track.” Does this refer to your writing? It is great that your writing motivates you to keep going. I love “never let the flame of life burn out, it connects us.” Yes, our human value of life does/should connect us, we should value all lives, of all others and our own, and thus, we should care for and about other people. I hope that crack in the wall gets bigger and bigger! This poem is relatable for anyone stuck in a difficult situation, that might be mentally or physically restrictive/suffocating/draining in some way. Thank you for showing us what it means to look at the positive and hold on to hope.

    Best wishes,
    Joyce

  28. kassidilenae on October 13, 2020 at 9:47 AM

    KC,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. The line, “A nation of the undesirables left to rot above ground,” i4s very piercing. I encourage you to keep fighting against the branding others try to put on you. You are more, and you are strong. Keep using your writing as “stepping stones.” These will help you find your way. Keep writing!

    KC

  29. Kennedi on October 13, 2020 at 10:58 PM

    This poem is very good! I like how you expressed that you were different from the other people. You are waking up and wanting to live your best life! This poem is truly inspirational and very well written. Do not stop writing! and keep up the good work!

  30. Lindsay on October 18, 2020 at 4:24 PM

    What a powerful poem! Thank you for sharing this with us, it is truly inspiring. You are never alone in your battles, and you never lose hope of the future. Good things come to those who wait, so keep your head up and wait till for the crack in the wall to become a hole.

  31. Lexi on October 18, 2020 at 4:30 PM

    Hi KC, thank you for sharing such a powerful poem. Your writing is full of vivid imagery that not only sets the scene, but conveys a deep understanding of society and humanity. This poem is beautifully written, and I especially love the last 6 lines… wherever we are, I feel like we are all looking for a little bit of hope, that “slither of light,” and your poem captures that feeling so perfectly. You are a talented poet, and I would love to read more of your work.

  32. Dzina on October 18, 2020 at 4:40 PM

    KC, you are amazing and a true inspiration for many. I hope you’re finding peace and I hope you know that you are not alone. You’re words have an enormous power to change other people’s lives. I love what you said about dreams and how they are not decayed, I think this is something everyone should be reminded of. The flame of life should never burn out, you’re so right! I really like your poem and I hope you keep writing. Thank you 🙂 Best, Dzina

  33. Katrina on October 20, 2020 at 12:45 PM

    This is incredible!Never stop writing!Reading your poem really touched me and educated me.I am glad that you are holding on to hope and to that light.

  34. Cameron on October 23, 2020 at 8:48 PM

    KC, wow. Your imagery is fantastic. Placing the narrator in an in-between state with life and death is a really interesting idea, and I am impressed by how you executed it. I particularly like the line: “I am not alone, for thousands walk with me/ A nation of the undesirables left to rot above the ground.” Here, I really feel your emotions. I also like how you transition that into listening to your lost loved ones, and how, from their advice, you are able to find light and hope. I’m really glad that you were able to find more hope at the end of the poem, and I hope you are able to find even more cracks in the wall! I can’t wait to read what you write next.

  35. Rachel on October 28, 2020 at 2:42 PM

    I really like all of the images that you have brought into this poem. The crabs, the tombs, the metaphor for light. I would love to know more about each of these images. Why the crabs specifically? What are some more details about the tomb and your surroundings? I’d love to read more!

  36. kiana on October 28, 2020 at 2:48 PM

    I love this poem, KC! My favorite line of this poem is “I walk in the land of the dead focused on life”. This turning point completely shifts the poem in an incredibly intricate way and communicates such strength. Your inspiring resilience shines through so well, and I hope the crack in your wall continues to get a little bigger.

  37. Megha D. on October 28, 2020 at 2:52 PM

    I must admit, this poem gave me shivers. The visuals you painted, the rawness of the emotion, yet the hope that lingered…and the ominous ending. I could imagine the narrator eerily smiling at the end, ready to face an eternity of chipping away at the wall. I love the narrator’s camaraderie towards the other dead, and the fascinating mix of disdain and anger at the men who cast them aside and yet yearning to live again. All in all, this was an amazing poem KC, and thank you for sharing it with us!

  38. Steffy on October 28, 2020 at 3:08 PM

    You are absolutely correct that time is harsh. However, the hope of finding a crack in the wall/making that crack bigger keeps us going. I am so glad you were able to find your crack in the wall, and that it grew bigger. Thank you for sharing this message because it is something that I definitely relate to. Never turn your back on your dreams. I wish you the best.

  39. Phuong Nguyen on October 30, 2020 at 3:18 PM

    This poem is powerful and full of creative imagery. It is so unique, unexpected, not like anything I’ve read before. The way you use juxtaposition so very well convey the message of your poem. Be the fire that never goes out, keep pushing on, and use your creativity power to its full potential!

  40. JM on November 2, 2020 at 3:45 PM

    Dear KC,

    Thank you for sharing this poem! I thought the metaphor of prison as a graveyard was really impactful, and I liked that even though you began with that stark image, you ended with a note of hope that the crack in the wall is getting larger. I also enjoyed the line about the king of the damned being damned himself– it made me think about how having power isn’t very helpful without integrity to go along with it. There were so many insights in this poem and I really liked that it ended on such a life-affirming note. Thanks again for sharing.

    Best,
    JM

  41. Logan on November 5, 2020 at 3:36 PM

    I really liked that, KC, it was focused on living your life for you. Don’t ever stray from that. It’ll get you through tough and rough times alike, and make the easier ones better. Keep writing, it’s a good outlet.

  42. Preeti on November 11, 2020 at 3:12 PM

    Wow, “They think the title King Crab is an honor Don’t they see? King of the damned is still damned himself”. What a fantastic line. You have an eye for the long term, that’s hard to come by, I’m envious. The message of hope you have. well done. The comparison you have with the walking tombs around you, it’s perfect. Please keep writing, you work is amazing. Keep up the great work. You’re so talented, so acutely aware.

  43. Preeti on November 11, 2020 at 3:25 PM

    Your ability to see beyond the everyday, the ability to look into the long term is amazing. I’m envious. The small sliver of hope, it helps me connect to this piece, so much. I want everything to work out so badly. This is amazing, please keep writiting.

    • Preeti on November 11, 2020 at 3:26 PM

      writing**

  44. AKB on December 4, 2020 at 12:50 PM

    I love this poem so many ways to interpret your words. Very interesting and powerful words. One of my favs!

  45. Lyndsay on December 4, 2020 at 3:16 PM

    This poem explains the world we live in so well. Your words are genuine and honest, and that is what I love about it. It is encouraging to hear that you found a crack in your wall. Keep that flame of life alive!

  46. Keyana on December 8, 2020 at 11:02 AM

    I think that it is important to always have that glimmer of light around. It does remind someone that they still have someone around.

  47. Maggie on December 11, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    I like this poem, and how it is inspiring and helps people stay positive and inspired in life!

Leave a Reply

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.