I gave away my freedom
When I chose to do my crime.
I will not commit another
By locking up my mind.
I can choose to grow in here,
Like a mushroom in the dark.
I can turn my tiny cell
Into Shakespeare in the Park.
When I start feeling angry
And frustrated with myself,
I know help is never further
Than the books living on my shelf.
There is no dust up on these tomes
And their number is always changing;
From Langston Hughes to Stephen King,
Their topics are wide ranging.
I do not “escape” inside those words;
Escapees must forever run away.
Instead I visit them in their homes
And listen to all they say.
I am very fond of most of them;
A few tell me naught but lies,
But even the most dishonest ones
Often open up my eyes.
I cry for those who cannot read
And the prison sure won’t teach them.
I wish I knew the perfect way
To see hungry minds and reach them.
Stories hold so many treasures
And a poem can heal your heart.
Words take us down so many paths
And books are where they start.
Financial donations are the single factor that limits the number of people we can serve. Just $3 is the average cost of mailing a package of carefully selected books from our library!
Prison Book Program
c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169