Poem: Out of Jail

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After a good day’s work
Getting things done
Running here and there
After dancing, cooking, and washing my hair
I settled in gratefully, gracefully
Savoring the night
Loving my life
And that’s when I got the word

My friends a half a world away
Are in jail
Accusations and denials
And as of yet, no chance for bail

Aaargh
I want to rip my chest open
And package my broken heart

I’d patch it up and tie it with entwined love
And send it to them overnight
But the last packages I sent
Never even arrived

The cell door slams closed
In my own living room
And my free spirit is locked away
Incarceration
Isolation
Solitary confinement
Huddled in a pile
In the prison of my own making
For a little while
I can only shiver

Then the tiniest sliver
Of light shines through
Tickles my soul
I can not deny
I am
Awake and alive
I am free
If I want to be
I finally pick myself up
Unlock the cell of hell
Step into the freedom
Of my own making
Of peace

Now, there is work to do
I can be of service
I am free to find the truth
I am
Free
I am free to serve
If I can help
I will
I can only do it
If I stay
Out of jail


About the poem:
I have some young men in Ghana that call me mom. When I hear of the difficult times they are having, Aaaargh! It’s hard to move, hard to know what to do. What I do know, is that when I get centered and calm first, I can do my best.

When we hear about our friends going through hard times, we want to dive into desperation with them, and simply agree that life is hard. While that’s an okay place for a bit, there’s no traction there. To lift someone up, we need to be strong and centered. In the 12-step program, this was called “Sharing experience, strength and hope.” That sums it up! When we hear sad, sad news, feel it deeply, then figure out a place of peace from where you can be inspirational and helpful.

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