The Prison Project

     Blue Monday is over, but I’m not going to let you up, just yet. The following is a poem that has a happy ending for a young mother and her baby, but it also tells of others who will not now, nor ever, have a happy ending. Please read it and remember that there, but for the Grace of God, go you and I.


Project living

The Prison Project

The Prison Project


She stared out of the window

on her life.

She saw just bricks and tar

and rusted burned-out cars.

Still a baby, with a baby

though not a wife.

For the father of her son

now wholly ghosted,

and she knows that it’s because

a false god is what he was.

But into her inner-sanctum,

that fraud, she’d hosted.

He had preached to her of heaven

here on earth.

With the promise of the prophet

all his love was hers to profit,

but both the prophet and the profit

held no worth.

Now she longed for brighter days

and better times.

And though she dearly loved her son,

he deprived her being young.

She was old at seventeen,

yet had no prime.

This is what she felt

on every morning.

Just the boy and her alone

in this prison, they called home

and she thought of mom and dad,

and all their warnings.

“Beware the devil in disguise

of earthly pleasure,

for every gift he gives

he robs off, of what you’ll live.

 And time is truly life’s

most cherished treasure.”

But now there’s squalor all around her

and oh, that smell,

of decaying human souls

devoid of hope and goals.

Save for that next injection

and its spell.

Was this to be her future,

and the boy’s,

to scrounge for every penny

and to sleep with strangers, many,

for the cash to get her daily

taste of joy?

And what will be his fate

in days to come?

Will greatness be lost inside

or a genius mind, be not applied,

and then on this stagnant pond float,

as the scum?

And so she cried herself to sleep

‘most every night.

Cursing her luck and fate

in this prison without gates,

with no ending to her sentence

nor hope in sight.

But her situation soon would change,

and for the better.

Her parents admitted they were wrong

and they had missed her all along.

And that is what they told her,

in the letter.

Come home they said dear daughter,

and bring the lad.

Where we’ll welcome you and he

and how happy they’d all be,

 and for the pain that they had caused her,

they were so sad.


But her story’s happy ending

is less than rare,

for every one of her

there are thousands to be sure,

who would never leave

that blighted lair.

For the project is a prison

to the poor.

The under-educated

the lost and deprecated,

are those who’ll never see

that opened door.


Jack Downing

Dec. 2012



Copyright©  Jack Downing, aka Jake All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD 12/11/12



About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Americana, children, education, environment, Family, Freedom, God, misery, soul, tragedy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Prison Project

  1. This very empathetic and too few people understand that poor people are not the cause of poverty they are its victims. Maybe the understanding will increase when more of today’s working people are pink slipped and begin their own participation in this downward cycle and prison.

  2. Beth Ann says:

    This deserves far more than the two likes you have thus far!!! A zillion likes for this one, Jake!!!

  3. Sally says:

    Very Dark………

    • Bleak, I think is a better description.. She was the lucky one in the long run, but I pity the others who have no hope of ever getting out, a life sentence as it were.. Thanks for the comment Sal, I look forward to them..

  4. Sally says:

    Why thankyou…I am so glad someone actually looks forward to what I have to say! No offense but lately the testosterone around here is very loud!! Kind of overbearing!!

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