“The Living Hope”
By Chad Apsey
Newberry Correctional, Newberry, MI
Three concrete walls and a fourth made from bar steel
Has become my new dwelling, absent from comfort and appeal.
A cage so secure it could detain the most destructive of beasts,
Constantly reminding me that I’m a criminal, for a short time at least.
Time often creeps to an idle as it boasts its length in a single day,
While freedom gloats of its escape, teasing that it ran away.
Isolated from humanity and nearly every luxury I’ve ever known,
As I enthrone in my penance for the discord I have sown.
The monotony of the light hours command the mind to ponder,
While the night seems to invite the thunderous chaos to wander.
Force fed boredom engineered to make a rigid fellow break,
Segregated from society as if a sea creature in a freshwater lake.
The day extends nothing of reward except for a brief phone call,
And the height of anticipation is funneling into the chow hall.
I’m a prisoner in this system and incarcerated in my own mind,
The sentence I have been given also imprisons those I’ve left behind.
No matter how I paint this atmosphere I find myself in,
How I choose to punctuate this sentence determines its ends.
I have allowed my Saviour to invade this space I occupy,
For He encourages my thoughts and relates to the tears I cry.
He has taught me to be grateful, and this is more than just gloom,
How I feel His arms around me when His presence fills this room.
A promise of blessing and protection He reminds my anxious soul,
When I feel I’m shattered in tiny pieces, He reminds me I’m made whole.
It is with His strength only will I endure this merited season,
To attempt it alone would convict me of treason.
Although the climb may appear steep, it’s only a gentle slope,
For no grade is impossible when you walk with the living hope.