Prison Radio
Steven Nicholson

There’s about nine of us tomorrow in our creative writing group, and we are doing a skit, like a play almost, and we’re all doing our own individual poem. It’s all about juvenile lifers, and it is a court setting, and oddly enough, they made me the prosecutor, even though I usually fight for social justice, so it’s kind of hard for me, so I had to figure out a way to make this work in the way I do things, so here goes my poem.

Your honor, and people of the court, I’ll try to make this short. As you will see, the details of this case may leave you feeling bored, and you may have heard the report on my resume to play those who catch any case. I’m like a peg in the board, a cog in the machine of justice that’s blind, whatever that means. I am the setup to get them wet up, laying down behind bars without the burn scars that come from those things that bang in close range, and still, I make the foundation for future scars, a generational curse.

So my argument is gonna hurt like the beating before the guillotine. I send you to the executioner, so they call me the prosecutioner, and I know this judge personally, he don’t only play dirty, he stays in the mud. Even when defendants take the high road to rise above, roadblocks rise up. The system hovers above. The judge, gavel in hand to support my case to eradicate from the face of the free world, this adolescent young man.

But I’m a church man. I know that Jesus too was once a young man, so it don’t seem like the hate in my heart can stand, but I got a job to do. But I no longer know what to do, what is right. Do I take this prey molded predator and throw him to bonafide predators forever, or will that mold him into a predator forever? But would that be his nature forever, or is there a redeemer for his redemption? Will we make him just a mention in history’s records? So do I drop the case or save face and keep my place amongst my peers as a puppet in the show so that I can still grow comfortably old? Now that mentality is societal dope, confident hope. Don’t we all get it? Nope. Don’t we all deserve it? Yep. Will this imbalance be converted? Let’s pray and hope, hope that this kid has a chance for a lifetime, throw him a lifeline.

I mean, I’ve changed my mind, but bro, I’m still a puppet man, so I call my first witness to the stand. What up though? Yup. My selfish desire, it keeps me a dope, just a pawn in the game of the system that’s broke, so I gotta throw this kid off the boat.Close the floor, clear the docket, onto the next one, let’s go. I know my role. I know it’s wrong, but I gotta keep my knee on his throat until he chokes. Case closed, and I don’t even need my notes.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.