Prison Radio
Robert Neibler

My name is Robert Neibler, 399870. Baraga Correctional Facility, 13924 Wadaga Road, Baraga, MI 49908.

Sitting in a cell block somewhere in Northern Michigan is a man screaming, “They took my child” at a volume that shakes my bones and hammers my soul, for I know the conscientious has constantly counted to nonsense and, in a sense, I feel his pain, cause his brain left with society.

So quietly I speak to him and take his grin as a chance to begin to converse. The reverse side effects that projects this thing they call justice. “They did it again,” he weeps, for tonight when he sleeps upon sheets, and nightmares creep in, invades this realm, sends shockwaves through his cranium. So how can I say to him when he shakes, rattles, and jerks that everything’s okay.

Despite all they took away, he should stay, to give it just one more day, like time can fill the cracks in the system, like society could miss him, like those who quickly decried, belittled, dismissed and could now hug and kiss him, like my words can keep him alive, like 10 years in on a 27 to 55, he should still strive for greatness, reach for the stars like these bars can’t hold him.

So simply I told him every day is new, and he could scream ’till his face turns blue. It won’t change the past. The memories will fade, but not to forget the mistakes he made, but attribute them as blessings, as professor’s lesson. They ain’t always free. And it’s those mistakes that make him me, so as I approached the mirror to ask my captain why, I see a tear-shaped child pour forth from eye.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.