Number 22 in 30 in 30, a series of writing challenges. Over the course of 30 days (sometimes even in a row!), I will draft a post within 30 minutes. This 30-day theme is: News Stories. Today’s writing was inspired by an article in the LA Times about prison labor during the pandemic.

The way your heart stops
and your eyes tear up
you have to hide it
before they see
from behind
their bars

The letter that comes already
in the mail
A piece of tape
to remind you
they are listening
they are reading
to everything you say
“I love you” no longer just
between family

Their requests, their needs
are huge even when they are
and impotence crawls up
your spine like a

They didn’t deserve this
to be locked away
hidden and fading
left to die
in sickness and in health