Sarah Allen was awarded Second Place in Poetry in the 2015 Prison Writing Contest

I hear a song, 
such a sad, sad 
song, yet beneath 
the words there’s 
hope. I see tears 
of pain, of longing 
and regret. I hear 
dreams strum on 
a guitar. I crave 
to look at my life 
and retrace the past 
which floats before 
me like ghost music, 
I want to close my 
mind to the what 
ifs, should haves, 
and whys. I want 
to glance away and 
drop my head in 
shame. I don’t want 

to hear your honey 
dripped voice 
reminding me of 
what I don’t have. 
I want to shake 
you off, close my 
eyes and forget. 
But your music 
is insistent, creeping 
into the deep 
crevices of my mind. 
Prying open my eyes 
and forcing me to 
look. So I do, straight 
into the abyss of nevers. 
You tease me with 
your chant, seduce 
me with your blues 
make me miss what 
I never had.