By Lydia Maniz
Dedicated to my husband, Robert Maniz
21 years – only 12 more to go.
Doing time in a prison with no walls.
Marking days till the ink runs out.
Building walls in front of doors
and breaking windows just to breathe.
Trying not to lose myself
amongst fiends in these cutthroat streets
Crank games are to mind trips
as my so-called “freedom” is to his bars.
“I’m innocent!” I scream,
but it remains unheard,
drowned out by the sound
of the crimes listed under his name.
I could run, but I‘d never escape.
The yearning for him never fades.
I have no choice.
We both knew what we’d lose
as he pulled the trigger
and I said, “I do.”
This is our time
– never actually shared.
Both feeling the cold,
two different sides of the same glass.
Watching clocks that run too slow
as life around us skips not one beat.
Is it harder to touch but never feel,
or to have known, but never seen?
Vigilant and composed,
blue denim animal caged on the yard.
Roaming the streets just to get out the house.
He’ll watch for mail;
I’ll do the same.
He programs; I hustle.
Survival mode, the constant mind frame.
We’ll do what we want
and never look back
with no love or regret.
Politics and egos
added to the state’s rules.
Judgment and temptation
mixed into an already shady game.
Both feeling the anger
that builds from helpless emotion.
Biting back the constant loneliness
Quietly provoking us to the edge.
Tiers and tiers of like-minded peers
and I, in a room full of socials.
But TIME is done in the mind
and our only thought is of each other.
All time is hard time,
though the years fly by with ease.
Hurrying up just to wait.
Pressing play and pause all at once
the life of a convict’s wife,
a hard line unacknowledged but walked.
Remember convict as you do your time in prison
your wife does hers on the other side.
I’ll never walk a day in your shoes
you’ll never know
what it was like waiting for you.
IN THE MAIL
By Jason Scardino
Today I got a letter from her
But I didn’t read the words
I read what was written in between
Which left me most disturbed
She spoke of how she missed me
And of a love that remained steadfast
Promised that she’d been faithful
All these days gone past
Handled my affairs and such
My possessions packed and stored
Said there was nothing for me to worry at
This girl that I adored
Wish you were here, wish you were near
Wish you were coming home!
Wish I wasn’t facing
This cold, cold world alone!
And then the letter ended
Before it had began
Before she had informed me
That she’d found another man.