April is National Poetry Month. To help us celebrate the literary month, the Innocence Blog asked readers to share with us their poetry about criminal justice. The response has been overwhelming. Thank you to all of you who have submitted your work. We are so excited to read these terrific pieces and to share them widely.
If you’ve written poems about criminal justice that you’d like to share, please submit them at email@example.com. We may feature your piece on the Innocence Blog and social media.
Today we are posting two poems; the first is by Michelle Mitchell and the other is by Daphne Brulee. Thank you, Michelle and Daphne, for reaching out and sending in these excellent poems.
Lost in the system
by Michelle Mitchell
So many lives changed
The day that your sentence came
Seen a whole building plea guilty in Fullerton
I had to ask
Is guilty the only plea you know he said if I plea guilty he will let me go home
They don’t think twice of a guilty plea just ready to leave
With Guilty attached to your name for the rest if his life
Don’t let your child go out your arms and into a cell before he had his first anything
its shame instead of a fight the parents move away
13 years old sentence life
It’s nothing a kid can do to deserve life
No more warnings
To show a kid another way adults calling 911 for a payday
Kids dreams shattered by the justice system at a young when they make adulthood how productive are they as
Adults walking around
With everything new to them they don’t recognize their own town anymore, or a familiar face who use to know him
so many years lost from a mistake as a child
The Justice system don’t work for everybody
Sigh of an Innocent
By Daphne Brulee
I dreamt of the Shock
of one word:
It wasn’t a dream.
I hoped for a word
Among the drip-drip-drip of days
I faced in near-catatonia
A semblance, here or there, of humanity
Until a Someone listened.
This hint of hope made all the difference to me:
It fought, and soared, and restored a Someone, free.