IF I SHOULD LIVE A THOUSAND YEARS

MY MEMORY SHALL NOT FAIL

I CAN'T FORGET THE DAY THEY LOCKED

ME IN THE COUNTY JAIL

 

THEY ROLLED MY FINGERS IN THE INK

A MUG SHOT OF MY FACE

IN ALL MY LIFE I'VE NEVER BEEN

IN SUCH A DISMAL PLACE

 

THEY HAD ME STRIP OFF ALL MY CLOTHES

WITH MUCH EMBARRASSMENT

I SQUATTED, AS THEY SEARCHED ME NUDE

AND SEEMED TO BE CONTENT

 

THEY FELT MY CLOTHES AND ALL THE SEAMS

AND THEN WHEN THEY WERE THROUGH,

THEY GAVE THEM BACK TO ME AGAIN

BUT THEY RETAINED MY SHOES

 

THEY TOOK AWAY ALL THINGS THAT I

HAD BROUGHT WITH ME FROM HOME

THE ONLY THING THEY LET ME HAVE,

WAS THEIR DAMN JAILHOUSE COMB.

 

NO GLASS, NO STRING, NO BELTS OR THINGS,

THAT MIGHT CAUSE INJURY,

THIS PLACE IS SO DEPRESSING THAT

THE THOUGHT MIGHT COME TO ME

 

EACH STEP I TOOK ALONG THE WAY

I HEARD STEEL DOORS SLAM CLOSED

THE FEAR AND DREAD THAT FILLED MY MIND

WAS MORE THAN I'D SUPPOSED.

 

THEY LOCKED ME IN A 5 BY 6

TWO PEOPLE TO A CELL,

WHERE ONE COULD STAND AND ONE COULD SIT

I THOUGHT THIS MUST BE HELL

 

DEPRESSED I SAT UPON MY BUNK

AS I SURVEYED THIS PLACE

EACH PAIR OF EYES, STARED BACK AT ME

EACH TOUGH AND HARDENED FACE

 

A WORLD OF DIRTY GREEN AND GREY

OF CONCRETE, GLASS AND STEEL

A SICKNESS DEEP WITHIN MY GUT

IS ALL THAT I NOW FEEL

I CAN'T BELIEVE ITS HAPPENING

I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M HERE

I FEEL I'LL VOMIT IF I MOVE

I'M TREMBLING WITH FEAR

 

A STEEL CAGE THAT'S COLD AND DAMP

IF THEY'LL JUST LET ME BE

AFRAID TO SPEAK, I MIGHT SAY WRONG

THEN THEY WOULD TURN ON ME

 

NO SHOES UPON MY STOCKING FEET

MY SOCKS SOON TURNED TO GRIME

I HOPE I HAVE ENOUGH TO LAST

TILL I HAVE SERVED MY TIME

 

THEY PLAY THEIR CARDS AND TALK OF SEX

THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO DO

I WONDER IF MY MIND WILL WARP

BEFORE MY TIME IS THROUGH

 

THEIR LANGUAGE IS ALL GUTTER TALK

THEY'RE HARDENED TO THE CORE

SPRINKLED WITH SOME JAILHOUSE TERMS

THAT I'VE NOT HEARD BEFORE

 

MEALS ARE BAD BEYOND DESCRIPTION

WORSE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

DIRTY CUPS AND PLASTIC WARE

AND FINGERS STAINED WITH INK

 

JUST BREAD AND WATER INSTEAD OF FOOD

WOULD BE A SIMPLE TREAT

THE COFFEE IS LIKE DRINKING MUD

AND I JUST CANNOT EAT

 

MY CELLMATE ASK, "WHAT YOU IN FOR?"

AND AFTER I REPLIED

I ASK THE SAME, THE ANSWER CAME

MADE ME FEEL SICK INSIDE

 

"MURDER" WAS THE ANSWER THAT

WAS RINGING IN MY EARS

IT MADE ME APPREHENSIVE AND

MY MIND WAS FILLED WITH FEAR

 

THE DAYS WERE LONG AND LONELY

SEEMS I CRIED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT

MY CELLMATE TALKED THE LONG NIGHT THROUGH

WHICH JUST INCREASED MY FRIGHT

THEY BURN THE LIGHTS ALL NIGHT AND DAY

I DON'T THINK I CAN LAST

I'LL BE SO GLAD WHEN THIS NIGHTMARE

IS FINALLY IN MY PAST

 

THE WORLD OUTSIDE, DOES NOT EXIST

THEIR WORLD FOR NOW IS HERE

JUST CARDS AND TALK OF FILTHY SEX

THEY JUST DON'T SEEM TO CARE

 

ANOTHER LUNCH, BUT JUST AS BAD

I GAVE IT ALL AWAY

I FINALLY STARTED PLAYING CARDS

I THINK WE PLAYED ALL DAY

 

MORE JAILHOUSE TALK WHEN THEY PLAY CARDS

THEY CHEAT WHENEVER THEY CHOOSE

I KNOW THEY CHEAT, AFRAID TO SPEAK

I SIT THERE, SMILE, AND LOSE

 

THE RADIO BLARES ROCK AND ROLL

I KNOW I'LL NEVER LAST

AFRAID AND TIRED, BORED AND DIRTY

TIME DOES NOT SEEM TO PASS

 

BEFORE I GET OUT OF THIS PLACE

I THINK MY MIND WILL CRACK

THIS LOUSY THING THEY CALL A BUNK

GIVES ME AN ACHING BACK

 

THE PILLOWS HARD AND SMELLS OF SWEAT

THE MATTRESS STAINED WITH USE

MY BODY SLOWLY TURNS TO GRIME

IT CAN'T FIGHT THIS ABUSE

 

THE HOURS DRAG, THE DAYS ARE LONG

IT SHOWS UPON MY FACE

I FEAR IF I SHOULD SLEEP AT NIGHT

I'LL DIE HERE IN THIS PLACE

 

MEALTIME AGAIN, I LOOKED AT IT

THIS FOOD IS SUCH A JOKE

IF ONLY I COULD TAKE A BATH

AND DRINK A COLD "COKE"

 

MORE CARDS, MORE CARDS, WE PLAY MORE CARDS

I THINK I'LL GO INSANE

ONCE I AM OUT OF THIS HELLHOLE

I'LL NEVER PLAY THIS GAME

IT'S LOCKUP TIME, AND OFF TO BED

THE RADIO HAS DIED

I LAY UPON THIS DIRTY BUNK

AND TEARS HAVE FILLED MY EYES

 

I THINK OF THOSE OUTSIDE THIS JAIL

AMD WONDER WHAT THEY DO

I KNOW THAT I WILL TOSS AND TURN

AWAKE, THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH

 

MY CELLMATE RAMBLES ON AND ON

AND SAY'S " I WILL GET OFF"

ANOTHER INMATE SNORES IN SLEEP

WHILE YET ANOTHER COUGHS

 

I CANNOT TELL THE NIGHT FROM DAY

YET SOON MORE LIGHTS COME ON

I KNOW BY THIS, THAT IT IS DAY

ANOTHER NIGHT IS GONE

 

A BREAKFAST THAT REPULSES ME

I GAVE IT ALL AWAY

THIS MUD THAT THEY CALL COFFEE `S ALL

I NEED TO START THE DAY

 

I'M NOT SURE IF I KNOW THE DAY

SEEMS I'VE LOST TRACK OF TIME

THE REALITY OF ALL MY WORLD

IS HERE WITHIN THIS GRIME

 

STRIPPED NUDE, I SHOWERED AND WAS WATCHED

BY EVERY SINGLE EYE

I RUBBED DOWN WITH THEIR GRITTY SOAP

MY SKIN SAID IT WAS LYE

 

TWO CELLMATES HAVE AN ARGUMENT

FOUL WORDS HAVE FILLED THE AIR

EVERYONE HAS TURNED TO WATCH

BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE

 

THEY ASK IF I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY

BUT I'LL JUST WATCH INSTEAD

THEN SOON I'M LOST, WITHIN MY THOUGHTS

AND LYING ON MY BED

 

I'M FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF

AS I BUT WONDER, "WHY?"

WARM, HOT TEARS ROLL DOWN MY CHEEKS

AS I BEGIN TO CRY

 

THE MIRROR REFLECTS THE HORROR

THAT NOW SHOWS UPON MY FACE

YOU CANNOT HELP BUT LOOK LIKE HELL

IN THIS DAMN, FILTHY PLACE

 

THE GUARD HAS CALLED OUT MY LAST NAME

A VISITOR FOR ME

MY MIND IS RACING WILDLY AS

I THINK, "WHO CAN IT BE?"

 

I RUN MY FINGERS THROUGH TANGLED HAIR

AND BRUSH MY WRINKLED CLOTHES

I RUB THE TEAR STAINS FROM MY EYES

AND BLOW MY "SNOTTY" NOSE

 

THEY LED ME THROUGH A MAZE OF HALLS

ALL EYES TURN AS WE PASS

THEN FINALLY TO A TINY ROOM

ONE WALL WITH WINDOW GLASS

 

WE TALKED TEN MINUTES, MAYBE MORE

TIME WENT SO FAST IT SEEMS

BEFORE I KNEW IT, YOU WERE GONE

AND SO WERE ALL MY DREAMS

 

THEY LED ME BACK THROUGH HALLS AND STAIRS

BACK TO MY STEEL CELL

IF I WERE GIVEN ANY CHOICE,

I THINK THAT I'D CHOOSE HELL

 

I LAY UPON MY BUNK IN THOUGHT

DEPRESSION NOW SETS IN

I THINK ABOUT THE ONE I LOVE

AND THEN THE TEARS BEGIN

 

HOW LONG I CRIED I DO NOT KNOW

IN TIME I HEARD A SHOUT

THE JAILER HAD CALLED OUT MY NAME

"COME ON, YOU'RE GETTING OUT"

 

THE END?


no, it is the beginning, I have learned my lesson.

This was written, based on a description relayed to me, of Jail conditions from a female's perspective, after she did a few weekends for DUI

used by permission
Copyright Ron Bliss
All Rights Reserved 

         

 
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