In Prison

In Prison

In prison
without being accused

or reach your family
or have a family You have

conscience
heart trouble

asthma
manic-depressive

(we lost the baby)
no meds

no one
no window

black water
nail-scratched walls

your pure face turned away
embarrassed

you
who the earth was for.


"In Prison" first published in The New Yorker 2007, © Jean Valentine 2007, used by permission of the author.

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