Prison Radio
Kenneth Zamarron

This is Kenneth Zamarron, calling from Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana. This piece is titled, “The Hospital Drive.”

The hospital drive. They drove me to the hospital. It was the first time I left my home in over a decade. It had been so long, I forgot how lengthy the driveway was. But more surprising was the melody of the pebbles underneath the vehicle. I was unaware if this would be the last drive I would ever experience. As we drove away from my home and entered into the countryside, I saw all types of grass, wildflowers, and oak trees. I saw a tame dog and some wild turkeys. They were enjoying the beaming sunlight. The bright sun magnified the electrified feelings within.

I wish I could have said, “Stop. Please stop driving. Let me out of his vehicle. I want to kowtow and feel the emerald grass in my hand. Please stop this vehicle and empower me with the ability to bow before the fluorescent flowers, so that I may gently place a flower stem in my hand, place my nose next to its petals, and smell the liberating aromas. Please stop this vehicle and grant me the right to feel the sturdiness of an oak tree and look up at the blue sky. Please let me feel the juxtaposition of being wild in the freedom of choice, yet still tame.”

However, I knew I had to be confined to this vehicle. This was my plight. I then saw women and men walking hand in hand with their children, cheerfully enjoying the sunny day. As I saw this, my heart hung with sorrow, like the crying of a dove. Though only 30, the probability of having a wife and child was razor-thin, like the fencing around my home. My heart felt like a black hole with the dying of my wish to one day look upon the starry eyes of a wife and a child. My eyes moistened with this lamentable reality.

We drove onto a highway and with the speed of a comet we arrived at our destination, the hospital. Once inside, I felt the stares of people. They looked at me as if I was a caged ape at a zoo. Some people stared with revulsion, while others with empathy. The people who stared with empathy must have seen my humanness. I wonder if they too had regrets and wishes.

Then they drove me back home. With what felt like the speed of a cheetah, we were there on those pebbles. The pebbles, however, sung no melody. The melody was silent. I looked at the heavy, grey chains placed around my hands and my feet. I looked at the blue prison-issue clothes placed onto my body. I looked at the reflection on the window. I was quasi-alive at my home in a maximum-security prison.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.