Lorraine K. Bennett-Kenitzki was awarded the Dawson Prize for Poetry in the 2015 Prison Writing Contest.

By Black Rain

The walls were creamy white with shades of gray
While floor and ceiling match their color
I wonder who was their decorator
Not exciting but that’s not what it’s for

Atmosphere colors for concrete and steel
Shades of nothing for something to blend in
No pretty rainbows to shape how you feel
Just shiny, blurry reflections of sin

Everybody wears the same colors in

Except for the guards who watch over us
Or those ladies in white who cook for us
Or those D.O.C. Guards driving the bus

That’s what we get to see doing our time
Stuck in a county jail for doing crime