Sit in a cell 24/7/365 and tell me if you can think straight
Boxed in/locked in/no family/no friend
Just a beginning/no end/can’t breathe/no air
Mind gone with the wind/aging fast/seeing the skin peel
Seeing the hair turn grey/seeing where was once a smile
Turn to despair/dying from thirst/drinking your own tears
Knowing it can’t get no worse/bags below the eyes
You hear that soothing voice/let it out/for everybody cries


  1. ah on July 14, 2020 at 5:14 PM

    I love your use of punctuation, it really emphasizes the suffocating theme your poem reflects on. I always enjoy reading poetry that plays with the imagery of both words and literal characters such as dashes. The pain and anxiety of your poem is moving and by the end of your poem the beauty of expressing your emotions is a great ending to a great poem.

  2. Billie Marcheva on August 5, 2020 at 8:33 PM

    I feel speechless. Thank you for sharing this incredibly powerful poem. My heart reaches out to you.

  3. Missy on August 30, 2020 at 8:50 PM

    I know exactly what it feels like not to have any family or friends. Years ago, i used to write my own poetry, but I stopped because I thought people would laugh at me if I were to show them my work. You inspire me to want to start up again.

  4. katherine on September 8, 2020 at 9:15 AM

    Dear VC, your poem is filled with so much emotion. I can feel the pain and vulnerability in your words. But you finish with “let it out for everybody cries” and that line resonated with me. Everyone is human and sometimes the only way to feel better is to cry and let it go. Thank you for sharing your work!

  5. Joshua Redd on October 8, 2020 at 1:52 PM

    The prison is inhumane. It is the site of not only social death, but a death of the soul as well. I am praying for you, especially in these times.

  6. Joyce on October 14, 2020 at 2:23 PM

    Hi VC,

    This poem is so emotional and honest. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your feelings. The imagery in your poem is so powerful, and helps your readers begin to understand how time passes and how confining it is to be incarcerated. I think this poem will allow people to sympathize with those who face incarceration. Your use of slashes between phrases is very unique and creative. The last line of your poem is cathartic — people are crying and expressing their feelings. Maybe sharing feelings with others will allow you to process them and feel better. I am rooting for you! I hope you can overcome this situation and things will get better! Sending positive and hopeful thoughts.

    Best wishes,

  7. Dyemone on October 20, 2020 at 12:02 PM

    This poem was emotional. You can almost feel what the author is going through. I can feel the pain and frustration with every word written on this page. I would like to thank the author for taking the time to write this and hopefully they relieved some type of stress by writing this. Vulnerability is not easy to show. I hope that you continue writing.

  8. Katrina on October 21, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    I really felt the pain come through in this poem.I can’t even begin to imagine what your experience is like but I know its painful.I am sorry its so hard but never stop hoping and never stop writing.This poem is really powerful not just in the words but even the use of the punctuation.Thank you for giving me insight into your experience in such a wonderful way.

  9. ken on November 2, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    This is such a powerful poem. You really set the mood for it in the first few words. This is such a deep topic to write about and you did such a good job!! Keep up the good work!

  10. Maggie on December 11, 2020 at 6:31 PM

    This poem is very descriptive and emotional, and I thought the use of detail helps people to relate to it on an even more emotional level.

  11. Sabryn Ferchichi on December 16, 2020 at 5:02 PM


    This poem truly encapsulates the pain and emotion that you aimed to convey with rich detail and descriptiveness that allows the reader to not only “hear” what you say, but “see” exactly what you’re saying. For example, the line “Boxed in/locked in/no family/ no friend” I really enjoyed your style of writing. Thank you for being so vulnerable and I wish you the best.

  12. Jescie Roberts on December 20, 2020 at 1:55 PM

    Hey VC! I really could feel the emotion and imagery you placed here in this poem. You were able to show me a message and what life is like in your perspective and it really opened my eyes. Thank you for writing!

  13. Riti Kalra on January 18, 2021 at 7:17 PM

    I really like the honesty behind this poem. You speak from your heart, you write what you notice, how you feel, and it is very clear to a reader like me that this writing is powerful and emotional all at once. The style and punctuations of your writing make it seem almost like a page in your diary, allowing me to see a glimpse of your true emotions and I really really like that.

  14. Jazlyn Rose Mitchell on March 29, 2021 at 1:55 AM

    Thank you for sharing the incredibly personal feelings that you are met with at this point in your life. Im beyond grateful to have been able to see directly into your emotions, and seem to be able to lie along next to you and feel them as well.

  15. Anna on April 16, 2021 at 6:19 PM

    Hey VC, I love your vulnerability you are sharing with this poem. Your use of imagery is great, I can really picture it all while reading your poem. I can really feel your pain through your words and I just want to say that I wish you the best and I hope you are well. Thank you for sharing this!

  16. Emily H on April 16, 2021 at 9:04 PM

    Hi VC, my name is Emily and I attend college in Detroit. I was brought to this website from one of my English classes in which there is a component of us engaging in service and community. Your poem was very visual and I felt as if I was right in there with you. I am so sorry that you have to go through what you are going through. After reading what you wrote, there is a pit in my stomach of what you have to go through. I feel as if you were writing from your heart and for that I am appreciative. Although I don’t know anything about the experience you are going through, your poem brought me into your mind. I can see how you are feeling and how the days drag on and on while you sit there.This poem really opened my eyes to many different things so thank you for writing. I hope that you are able to push through to brighter days. I also hope that you write more because your work is vivid and clear and gives a glimpse of yourself.

  17. CA on April 22, 2021 at 8:54 PM


    Your poem displays a list of emotions such a pain, sadness, and despair. I commend you for writing about your feelings and letting those emotions out. The imagery used helps the reader picture what you are going through. Thank you for sharing this piece and keep writing about what you feel.


  18. Katie on May 3, 2021 at 3:55 PM

    Let it all out. I can tell poetry is helping you let go of some of the sorrows you are experiencing and I think so many people can relate to your troubles. Keep writing please. Your words speak volumes and I suggest you continue to publish your work here to reach out to those who may be looking for wisdom or simply looking for someone to relate to. You have so much to say in so many ways to say it, never stop expressing.

  19. EH on November 21, 2022 at 7:55 PM

    I really enjoyed how you were able to articulate such negative ideas as being locked in a cage in such a beautiful way through your word choice and sentence structure. The rhyme scheme is consistent yet seamless; it feels both like a work of art as well as a mere reflection of your inner thoughts. You are a great writer!

  20. Jazmyne on February 27, 2023 at 7:43 PM

    What I like about this poem is the way you separate each line with a /. It makes the poem drive your feelings forward. It’s also powerful to show just how your emotions have just poured out. That each day has been a battle and you have learned to let your emotions out. It’s honorable to show just how you truly feel. Keep pouring your emotions out. We will always be here to listen!

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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.