At first this poem made seem sad, but it is actually about self emancipation and empowerment.
Birthday Inside Concrete Walls
I will celebrate my birthday inside this year, inside concrete walls
painted pastel, egg-shell colors. I will open no presents and blow
out no candles. In fact, I will most probably choose to let the day
pass like any other.
But I will celebrate because I know, I know that past the covered
windows, the fence with razor wire, past the locked doors and steel
cages, I am not alone. I will close my eyes and picture the faces that
I know will take a moment on this day to send their love through
a thought, a spark, a desire to remember…
And it is then that I will celebrate images held, lips curved upward,
a small laugh followed by a gentle tear. Another year, I will be
boundless right here within these walls. So on this (birth)day, when
you see me walking down the hall, mop in hand, broom to sweep,
but it looks something different, like I’m not here…
Don’t you see? I’m not here at all, I am finally free, because him,
her, and him are on the outside blowing candles out for me. JILL
from Hear Me, See Me, Incarcerated Women Write, Edited by Marybeth Christie Redmond And Sarah W. Bartlett (co-founders of writinginsideVT) Sarah is the founder/director of WWf(a)C Vermont.