Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Poetry often becomes a way to understand what incarceration means for the lives of those affected by it. This can be for both those who are incarcerated, those who have a loved one incarcerated and those who work in the criminal justice system. The two following poems reflect this struggle, one from a young woman who is currently incarcerated and one from a sergeant working in the jail setting.
I woke up this morning and there she was,
I knew I had seen her, felt her presence before.
She was what I was grasping for all along.
She was the light at the end of my dark, dark tunnel.
Please don't leave me, I need you.
I need you to help me through this.
What can I do?
I need to keep you here with me.
She spoke to me and she said
"When you wake up, pray.
Look into your children's eyes,
you will feel me within you.
I exist where there is nothing but darkness.
She was all that I had left, all I could grasp on to.
It was there that I found her.
When there  was nothing else left.
It is there she stood before me.
Here I can stand, once again,
I have found her,
I have hope.
                                                                                            Melisa Harness/June 2009
Bless Us With Your Presence
Let God, of all the worlds that ever were
And all the worlds that ever will be
Of all times, of all ages, of all creation...
Bless us with Your Presence
Consume us with Your Grace
Walk with us
In the darkness of this place
Surround us with Your Angels
Carry us on Your Wings
Give us the Voice of Heaven
Your Holiness to sing
Give us the faith of Angels
The strength and courage of Your Holy kings
Let our voices never falter
Let the words of Heaven ring
Never let the Flames be stilled
Nor darkness stop the dance
Let the power of the Holy Spirit
Teach the Holy chants
Let Jesus walk among us
And teach us how to open the door
To transcend the chains that bind us
To allow our spirits to soar
                                                                  Sandra J. Yearman, The Time of Angels is at Hand, 2008
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