Inmates Wife
by Anonymous, a 16-year-old gangbanger ©1989.

Inmate's wife, Number so-and-so
I have no other name, don't cha know.
No other function. When I came I stood alone
Silenced by the pain of long atoning
For my spouse's sin.

The others, they have work to share,
Hours spent on plans and progress
Where they open doors.

Where "inmate" means a mother's son
Or a mother herself whose children are gone;
Where needs are heard but they say
They need me, too.
For my strength, for my hope,
For the way I grew through my trials.

Inmate's wife
But starting to heal
From my heart's prison
Harsher than steel
They've heard my silence now.

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