Ugly Beauty

by Chris L.

My ugly beauty is like a mirror with multiple cracks – that makes one flaw “seem” like ten, but if you really look at yourself then you’ll find what I found in my reflection – the sobriety that comes which no longer being drunk on the perfection of the past. That’s why my growth is constant because my whole existence is defined by the vibration of a school bell. I never know what the next classroom holds. And some of my greatest growth happens whenever I say, “I didn’t see that coming at all!”

Chris L. is an inmate currently living at Plainfield Correctional Facility. He is a participant of Indiana Prison Writers Workshop. Once released, he plans to share his soul in the form of songs and storytelling and giving back in any way that will help hurting hearts heal.

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Rise Through My Fall

By Brandon A.

“Thank you” is a phrase that is often underrated. We say it to let people know they are appreciated. But what do you say when gratitude is not enough? When words can’t express what you feel, or who you’re touched. If I could rewind back through my lifetime, I would cherish you more than my own lifeline. The things you taught me I could never forget. The mistakes I made I will always regret. Family is a word we don’t take lightly. It lights fire to our soul that strikes like lightening. Because family means more than being related. It’s about the pain, joy, suffering. My big sister, to me, is more like a Mom, or a friend I depend on; my supreme icon. After 17 years of confinement, she is the only one who knows where all the time went. A voice of reason through a sea of treason. When all other supporters were leaving, she never missed a season. So now at this intersection of my life where I’m nearing my sentence, I dedicate my future to being more present because I believe I will rise through my fall.

Brandon A. is an inmate currently living at Plainfield Correctional Facility. He is a participant of Indiana Prison Writers Workshop. Once released, he plans on pursuing a career in culinary arts by operating a food truck while continuing writing.