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Charles, 52
Incarcerated: 20 years
Housed: Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, California

Freedom is Taking Too Long

Thoughts of freedom is my current confession
Is this life sentence a form of oppression
Or an opportunity for me to learn a lesson
I’m caught in the middle of two extremes
Trying to unravel the mysteries
Of the government’s legal schemes

I regret after 20 plus year
I’m still watching life go by
From the inside of a prison bus

On my way to my next destination
Feeling like nothing more than a commodity
A modern day slave
Being shipped out to another plantation

Despite the system’s best efforts to attack my mind
I still see hope in the rays of sunshine
Each day I become stronger
Than I used to be
Because I move through life
With a tactic and a strategy

I’ve acquired a lot of wisdom over time
Taught myself to be clever like a fox
Today I look past the obvious
And figure out a way to open up these locks

Been here way too long
Witnessed several people receive their pension plans
And move on to retire
But it seems that the only plan for me
Is to keep me here until I expire

I take full responsibility for the crimes I committed
Developed insight into why I did wrong
But the fact of the matter is
Freedom is taking too long

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