This week I am posting a poem that has been around awhile and was written by an inmate. This poem doesn’t originate from anyone that I know, but most behind bars can identify with it.
The time that I’ve wasted is my biggest regret,
Spent in these places I will never forget.
Just sitting and thinking about the things that I’ve done,
The crying, the laughing, the hurt and the fun.
Now it’s me and my hard driven guilt
Behind a wall of emptiness I allowed to be built.
I’m trapped in my body, just wanting to run
Back to my youth with its laughter and fun.
But the chase is over and there’s no place to hide
Everything is gone, including my pride.
With reality suddenly right in my face
I’m scared, alone and stuck in this place.
Now memories of the past flash through my head
And the pain is obvious by the tears that I shed.
I ask myself why and where I went wrong.
I guess I was weak when I should have been strong.
Living for the drugs and the wings I had grown,
My feelings were lost, afraid to be shown.
As I look at my past it’s so easy to see.
The fear that I had, afraid to be me.
I pretend to be rugged, so fast and so cool
When actually lost like a blinded old fool.
I’m getting too old for this tiresome game
Of acting real hard with no sense of shame.
It’s time that I change and get on with my life,
Fulfilling my dreams for a family and wife.
What my future will hold I really don’t know,
But the years that I’ve wasted are starting to show.
I just live for the day when I’ll get a new start
And the dreams I still hold deep in my heart.
I hope I can make it; I at least have to try,
Because I’m headed toward death and I don’t want to die.
I encourage men to not look at their incarceration as wasted time, telling them that instead this should be a learning time. A time in which God is using to mold and shape real men of God. Though many would agree with me, the words in this poem still reflect how many of the incarcerated feel! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings hope to all those who are incarcerated and we as Christians need to go behind the bars of prison to share this Good News!