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Winners of the 2017 Woman's Press Club of Indiana Prison Writing Contest

Winners of the 2017 Woman's Press Club of Indiana Prison Writing Contest

First place:

Down on Sand Creek
by L.D. Smith

Two words scrawled on a paper plate,
Taped on my front door, said, "GONE FISHIN'!"
I got a weekend date with Mother Nature.
I can't tuen 'er down 'cause the treat's on her.
Only my close friends know where I'm goin'.
It's my home away from home in the palm of God's hand.
I pitched my tent on a soft sandbar.
Then I grabbed me a few dry leaves and twigs.
I struck a kitchen match on the seat of my britches.
Then I lit my kindlin' and added more wood.
Night was creepin' in like a hungry coyote.
As my fire burned bright on the edge of the creek,
The flames were a-dancin' like a band of demons
Celebratin' the capture of another lost soul.
I grabbed my fishin' pole and a box of night crawlers.
Then I baited my hook and I give it a sling.
I reached in my cooler and pulled out a cold one.
Then I kicked back and waited for a big ol' cat.
Way down stream I could hear the clatter
Of the board floor bridge as a car crossed over.
Other than that, the only sounds that I heard
Was the breeze in the trees and a trilling whippoorwill.
Every now and then, I could hear the random rustle
Of a critter in the bushes or a hoot owl hootin'.
Along toward midnight I felt my pole jerkin'.
So I gave it a yank and caught a seven-pound cat.
They musta been hungry 'cause I caught five more.
I throwed 'em in my cooler, then I called it a night.
I believe the most peaceful thing a person can do
Is to sleep outside underneath the stars.
Morning came early and the trees were alive
With the birds celebratin' a brand-new day.
I cleaned me a catfish and greased up my skillet.
Then I made me a fresh pot of camping coffee.
I gave the Lord thanks for blessin' me so.
Then I had me a breakfast that was for a king.
I put out my fire and packed up my gear
And as bad as I hated to, I said goodbye.
I hope someday when I leave this world
I'll be right here in my favorite place.
Sittin' on the bank of my dear ol' friend;
Sittin' on the bank og Big Sand Creek.

L.D. Smith is an inmate at the Indiana State Prison, in Michigan City.


Second place:

by Jason Green

I am,
a hybrid of Dr. King's Dream
and the 5 Elements of Hip Hop-

I am,
every displaced, inner-city, poor Black person-
every East Chicago Calumet Houseing Complex resident-

I am,
my triple great-grandfather on the Underground Railroad
in 1845.

I am,
the courage it took for him to run to Ontario-

I am,
a modern day Nat Turner-

I am,
Mamie Till, the first time she saw her son Emmitt's tortured body

I am,
a product of Intelligent Design;
created in His image-

I am,
the epitome of soul,
notice the manifestation of natural swwag in my stride.
It's in my DNA-

I am,
the blood, sweat and tears
My ancestors cried
amplified 1,000 times.

I am,

Samuel C. Beacham is an inmate at Chain O'Lakes Correctional Facility, in Albion, Indiana.


Third place:

... Devouring …
by Samuel C. Beacham

I am waiting to devour you.
I am already under your bed, in your bed,
under your sheets, in your head.
Devouring …

Moving, stepping in your steps, inside your steps,
in your shoes, in your feet.
Trickling into your mind slowly, slowly reassuring.
While my hands are on your controls.
Devouring …

I spin golden lies before your eyes,
And use magicians’ tricks to fool your wits.
You’ll never be what you should be as long as I am who I am.
Devouring …

Jittering sweats, roots digging deeper
I am in control, you are just a sleeper.
Even trade. I’ll always deal myself the ace of spades.
Bottoms up, head down. You must like getting fucked around.
You’ve got the pills. My name’s addiction …

And I will forger be …

Samuel C. Beacham is an inmate at Chain O'Lakes Correctional Facility, in Albion, Indiana.