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The personal torment and journey of a prison sentence and beyond ...

To Those Who Stand Out In The Rain.

Me_at_lleisiau_2by SJ Alexanderson05 Nov 2013

When I was in prison
They wouldn't let you stand out in the rain.
Exercise would hobble back onto the Wings
In the guise of blue and grey.
The officers didn't like it,
They thought they may dissolve
And anarchy would break out inside.
It wouldn't have of course –
But there were memorandums
Stamped Ministry of Justice
That said it would. So they believed…
Because the system had no flaws –
The system was always right.

I missed so many things when inside…
My children, family, options, the rain
To name but a few.
I yearned to be able to look to the heavens
And feel a gentle drizzle on my face,
A rhythmic massage of wetness,
A cloudburst of biblical proportions even.
Of course, this never happened…
It was only a dream.
We had to be de-sensitized, de-humanized
And treated like the bastards we were…
Because the system said so –
And the system, as we know, was always right.

There was no such thing as harsh sentencing
Or miscarriages of justice for any of us –
We were criminals, and as such
Were punished at every opportunity.
Allowing us to stand out in the rain
Would have been perceived as a weakness-
As a moral victory for the immoral.
The only times I could look up and feel water in my face
Seemed to be accompanied by a symphony
Of rasping, gasping, 20 a day heavy breathers
Enjoying the intimacy of the shower block.
The reality was obscene, but the system had no problem with it…
And the system was always right.

The day I was released it rained
And I had the opportunity to stand out in it.
My sister told me to get into the car,
But I wouldn't and she didn't understand.
It was a gift from nature to appease
The unnatural life that I’d had to endure for 17 months.
It felt good. It felt better than good.
She could not tell that there were tears on my face
As well as rain. I was not emotionally dead after all.
Now, twelve months on, I still stand out in the rain
And use the time to think positively about my future.
This is my system, and although my system is not always right,
It cannot fail… because the stakes are too high.