Prison Poem

Unless a person has experienced this situation, it is very hard to put in to words. Families of prisoners are the forgotten victims.

The Forgotten Victim

© Alison Henderson
A persons comment:

'That's her there! her hubby's inside!'
'How can she stand by him?' a neighbor cried!
'I'd throw away the lock and key!'
'That husband of hers should never be free!'

'That woman can do so much better than him!'
'I'd throw all his letters away in the bin!'
'Just what can he offer now he's locked away?'
'A complete waste of space!' she shouted that day.

'That's the one there! her boyfriend's inside!
'He's scum of the earth!' a neighbors implied!
'If I was her, well I'd meet someone else!
'Not wasting my life to be left on the shelf!

'That woman's been left to cope with the shame'
'It was all over the papers! and gave out his name'
'He's useless! A criminal! Bring back the rope!'
'He'll do it again! for him there's no hope!'

My comment:

That man you condemn has a child and a wife
A Mum and a Dad who has given him life!
What would you do if this happened to yours?
Deny all your love and close all the doors?

Do you honestly think I'd sink to a level
And just turn my back and deem him a devil?
Yes! He's done wrong and is serving his time
And No! I do not agree with his crime.

'That woman' you point at, yes it is me
I was born with a name, as I'm human you see!
I'm innocent! just in case you've forgot
And love him whether you like it or not!

I've had the abuse, the comments and more
It's nothing I haven't heard all before
I mean no offense when I say this to you
I'm a victim as well- A forgotten one too.

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Rating: 4.63

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Published: Dec 2007

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  • WOW..you just told my story. The story about a woman who had 4 small children who not only had to raise them by herself, but stand by her man and yet be alone for 27 years. And I heard it all, comments from family and strangers alike. WOW thank you for putting a voice to my thoughts.
    God bless you, T

    Terry Submitted May 2009
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  • I love this poem. It was like I was reading my own story. I am a 26 year old mother of two and my husband has been in federal prison for 7 years. He was 19 when he went in for drugs. He still has 11 more years to go. this makes me feel better knowing there are other people out there just like me. Thank you and God bless.

    laurie Submitted Jun 2009
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  • Thank you Terry and Laurie for your comments. God bless you both.

    Alison Henderson Submitted Jun 2009
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  • thank you for voicing what I have not been able to. Since my hubby went to prison over a year ago, this is what I've endured from the community at large. I have 2 kids, one is his, and nobody seems to get how it feels to be on the inside looking out. This was beautiful. I wish he could read this as well. Its kind of comforting to know...I'm not alone.

    Tristin Submitted Jun 2009
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  • Wow this is what people do to me.
    I'm 15 my boyfriend is 16 and people stop and look at us and say that I can do better then him, that he's scum and needs to be in jail, even the people that I thought were my friends started saying stuff behind my back.

    Tami Submitted Nov 2009
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  • brilliant perfect and totally as it is.

    told this to my man inside and he was crying
    its how he sees it too

    Linda Simonini Submitted Jan 2010
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  • This fits perfectly for me and J. Everyone says I am crazy to be with him. That I should move on and not waste my time, but I love him and I won't walk away from him when he needs me the most!

    S. Mullins Submitted Feb 2010
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  • Thank you for sharing this poem. It really touched me. Your words and thoughts are beautifully expressed, thank you for expressing the hurts so many of us feel as the forgotten victim. We are not alone.

    Lori, Georgia Submitted Mar 2010
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  • I absolutely loved this! I am only 21 and married with 3 children. My husband has been in prison over two years excluding "the bracelet" I have stood by him through thick and thin. He is up for parole this November and I'm hoping and praying he is released. This poem is my life through and through! Thank You so much!

    Alicia, Maine Submitted Mar 2010
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  • Wow, this is exactly what I'm going through right now, my partner got sent away when I was 7 months pregnant, our baby is 6 weeks old now.
    He came 4 weeks early from all the stress I was feeling, so many people are quick to judge those who wait and stand by the one they love, but who are they to judge, for the man they describe isn't the man I know and love.
    Thank you for speaking out for us x

    Fallon, UK Submitted May 2010
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  • My dad went to prison when I was 4 years old. He stole a car and it had an 18 month old in the backseat. When he realized the little girl was back there, he pulled over and called the cops to let them know where the car was. He went to prison for 7 years. While he was serving his sentence, I was illegally adopted by some of my mother's relatives. Everyone always told me that he was a monster and a terrible person because of what he did...but he was still my dad and I still loved him, regardless. May 13th of 2010 I finally got to see my dad again, after 14 years of searching for each other, we were reunited. But I felt like the "Forgotten Victim" until I hugged him after 14 years, and I realized, that even though no one else saw me as a victimized little girl, my dad did and he NEVER forgot about me.

    Kayla Cherie Inman Submitted Jul 2010
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  • "The Forgotten Victim" provides a unique perspective on a very difficult subject and does it with such passion, clarity and simplicity. You''ve said it all.

    I have never faced these particular challenges in life, but I was an abused child for 10 years.

    This poem taught me that there are other unseen victims who are needlessly traumatised themselves.

    Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom.

    Alicia

    Alicia, Ontario Submitted Aug 2010
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  • This story mad me cry. I am sending it to my sons father in prison. He never got to see his first born son come into this world. And many people say a lot of these comments because I am trying to keep him and my son in contact with each other. My son just turned one and he does not know his father. And I wish they could have known the good in my man . but instead all they want to see is what he done wrong. So God bless those who must be the forgotten victim. Especially those too young to understand why people look at them like they done something wrong.

    Paden OK Submitted Aug 2010
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  • Hello Alison,

    Thank you for putting so eloquently the feelings that your family experienced when your loved one was incarcerated.

    I am a University student who is doing a research project on the Forgotten Victims, family members who's loved ones commit crime. Volunteering for Victim Services I was appalled to find out they do not go and support families of perpetrators. I quit soon after on principle.

    I now have the opportunity to shed light on the lack of support from community organizations for families of those who commit crime. Interesting my proposal is of the same title as one of your poems.

    Eve Submitted Sep 2010
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  • Other than a song by Alicia Keys called That's How STRONG My Love Is. I have yet to feel that I was going to survive my husbands federal time. After reading this and the other comments I know I can. I never realized the pain families go through when their family member is in jail. I now know the feeling of lose. He is my true love forever and I will wait forever if it takes that. Thank you and we can all make it. No one has to know how hard it is as long as those of us in this boat stick together. I can do this I am woman! God Bless Us All!!

    Liz, AR Submitted Sep 2010
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  • This poem finally put into words how I feel. My neighbors, who are his cousins, my friends and his alike. They all told me to leave him. And he is only in County Jail. He has been to prison, has spent several years. We have 2 Small children and another on the way. I was put on bed rest from all the stress. I posted the poem on my FB and myspace to tell people exactly how I felt. Thank you for putting words down that can finally say what is in my mind, but I could never do it.

    C Scott, Oly WA Submitted Oct 2010
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  • I like this. My husband has been in prison 19 yrs and I married him 1 yr ago after writing and talking for 7 years. People don't understand what it is to love those locked up. His mother passed away 2 yrs ago and the last 3 of those she was to ill to visit still young she died at 53 yrs old. She hurt all the years her oldest boy was gone.

    Terri Waites Submitted Oct 2010
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  • Wow, you wrote an excellent poem. You describe in great detail. It is a fact when people say that when a loved one does time, you do time with him or her. People can be so cruel, It is none of their business what your husband has done. People can be so judgmental, why don't they clean up their own lives, their lives are probably dirtier than yours, but please don't stop writing poetry, you truly have a gift, please don't let it slip through your fingers. Good Luck and God Bless.

    Nezzie Denver,Colorado Submitted Nov 2010
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  • My 20 yr old son will be sent to prison soon, for 4 years. I don't live near people that know about his crime. I don't hear the comments that people are making, but I know friends/people know. I know they're talking. Of course, I wish it never happened. I wish he was still my innocent boy, but he's not. I know how I feel as a mother who couldn't love her son any less...I imagine this is how GOD feels with each of us when we do anything wrong in His eyes. We still LOVE.
    Thank you for your poem.

    Christine, Texas Submitted Jan 2011
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  • I absolutely love this poem. It could have not been written any better. I was married June 21st 2010 and 2 days later my husband went to jail. He has been there since. He is now on his way to prison till the end of 2012. He asked me not to wait, and yet here I am 7 months later still holding on to all the love I have ever had for him. And not giving up. We got an annulment which was just finalized last week. I absolutely wish it did not happen that way, and we are waiting for him to be sent to a prison where he can have visits. I cannot wait to be able to just see him again. Phone calls are not the same!!!

    Megan, Kansas Submitted Jan 2011
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  • I'm 20. My boyfriend got locked up Dec.1,2010 right after I found out I was pregnant with his kid. I was devastated. At first my mom was really supportive with me waiting for him but after they sentenced him for 4 months she told me I could do better. Now I have to sneak and write him and everything. I send him poems and everything. I sent him this one a couple weeks ago and he absolutely loved it. thanks.

    Courtney, California Submitted Jan 2011
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  • I know what it is like to love someone behind bars but it's not my husband. its my 20 yr old son.. I really feel alone and that nobody understands. the tears fall harder every day that he is gone.. 29 days now and it's not getting easier here. I know I'm not the only 1.. thank you for sharing

    Misty Submitted Feb 2011
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  • My husband was sentenced to 5 years in Missouri. Right now we do not know where he is or when we will be able to see or write him. In the short time he has been gone I've lost many friends and support from family. They don't understand why I continue to love and support him and I don't think they ever will. Thank you for your beautiful work I hope I will be able to share it with my hubby and those who are still at my side soon.

    Meghan, Nebraska Submitted Feb 2011
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  • I've been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now, and we met while he was in jail. He was released in Jan 2010, but ended up back in jail in Dec 2010. He's looking at anywhere from 2-20. All because someone lied. This poem explains exactly what I feel like, and how people talk without knowing the whole story. Thank you.!!

    Vanessa. Midland, Tx Submitted Mar 2011
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  • Heya, I'm Jen and come 4th May, there's a very big chance, my partner will be given a prison sentence.. =[
    I've never been so scared in my whole life. I don't even want to begin imagining life without him.
    If anyone could contact me through my Facebook (link given) of tips and ways to help to cope.. I would be extremely grateful!

    Jenny, UK Submitted Apr 2011
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  • I wrote this for my boyfriend of 10 years, who's now doing time... Dear Lord, I'm in this place all alone. Protect the ones who are back home. I did some things and don't know why. Now I'm inside the walls where men can't cry. Lord watch over my love, my heart.. Keep her safe while were apart. Whisper I love you when she goes to bed. Place my picture inside her head. Kiss her soft when she does wake. Give her a good day please for her sake. Some times its hard when I'm not there.. Dear lord answer this prison prayer...

    Regina, West Virgina Submitted May 2011
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  • Let the court not see your fear. Just remember your love is here. As you stand up to hear your fate. Please know that your girlfriend will wait.. Take the time to plea your case. Wipe all tears from your face. This day wont break you, this I know. It's Just going to be hard to watch you go..

    West Virgina Submitted May 2011
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  • My husband just went to jail on the 9th we have been together for 9 years and have a 7 year old daughter. My family all says I should leave him but I love him too much to let g.o I know he is a awesome dad and husband this made me feel better. I really miss him and would do anything for him to be home.

    Jessica, Illinois Submitted May 2011
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  • This poem was right on the button for me as well. I met my man while in a detention center. We became pen pals and in no time at all became something more. We've been together for a little past a year and recently got engaged. He is getting sentenced for 10 years in a federal prison and I plan on riding with him all the way. We will marry in the pen as soon as they allow us to. I'm not going anywhere! The poem is AWESOME!

    Julie, Ontario, Canada Submitted Jul 2011
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  • This is too true for many of us. Michael and I had a most unconventional chance to meet while he had already been in prison for some time-he has in fact been there most of his adult life for a crime they can't even connect him to. Come what may, and after a decade of ups and downs, break-ups and make-ups, we will no longer deny what's between us or rage against the details we don't have the power to change-we will cope, and we will also marry soon, because I would rather wait a lifetime for the right man, than take the easy way out for less than perfect for me. My heart would know the difference. Best of luck and blessings to you all....

    Shannon,New York Submitted Sep 2011
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  • There are other women like me? Women that understand me? I want to give up, but my heart wont allow it. Everyone tells me to get over it, ("at least he's not dead" they say) I feel stuck and all alone. Well except for the fact that my husband did leave me with 4 kids.
    God bless you all! Sorry for venting.

    Deborah, Denver Colorado Submitted Dec 2011
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  • Hello, I thought I was the only one who felt like this sometime I feel so alone. My fiancι is locked up for almost two years and we don't know for how long yet. I have heard all the above statements like leave him, he should be in jail and my heart is telling me to stay. It hurts to see his name and picture in the papers but thanks for knowing that I'm not the only one who feels like this...I thought no one else understood.

    Louise, Mi Submitted Mar 2012
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  • The love of my life who took on me and my 3 kids might have to face 20 or more years. I'm looking for some kind of support group here which I can't find any in Va Beach Va. If you can help me that would be great. I miss him and I know the man he is and some he did but not all of it. Thank you to anyone who can help me.

    Jessica, Va Submitted Mar 2012
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  • Me and my husband have three wonderful kids ages 8 7 and 5. He's going to miss them growing up if this sentence reduction fails. I'm just trying to stay strong and maintain a "normal" life though its really hard. We miss him so much.

    Michelle Nnokam Submitted Apr 2012
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  • I loved this.. It really went to heart with me. My fiancιe is in jail right now but going to prison soon, for the next 6 or more years... We have had this huge wedding planned for us and were so excited, but now we have to get married through the system.
    Now that all of my family and friends have found out about me staying with him after everything, my dad has kicked me out, my mom has threatened me with everything she can, my best friends have judged me and put me down in every way they can. I feel like I have no one now just because I have found the one person in life that has made me happy and that I am madly in love with. I feel so alone because of all of it but now reading all of these and this poem I feel better in so many ways.. Thank you.

    Cassidy, Mt Submitted Apr 2012
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  • My boyfriend is going to jail for what may be 7 years on Federal charges..non violent...financial. He has been a father to my children, my best friend and lover...my true love and partner. We are from an upper middle class neighborhood and this matter is not foreign to many, but still taboo. I worry endlessly that my children will suffer more public harassment than I will because I am strong and can face anyone with dignity. But it still scares me to see my life turn upside down when the whole world thinks I have been in such a great place with a great guy. I am unsure of what will be. I love him dearly but seven years is a very long time.

    Milly, NY Submitted Apr 2012
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  • Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work. I've been the one inside several times, and the love and support of my family and friends kept me going. Now a young woman who has become very dear to me has been incarcerated, and for the 1st time, I'm left to realize the stress & pain that incarceration imposes from the other side of the wall. I found your poem to be spot-on, both in describing the reactionary judgments of others and how you just don't care; we love these inmates because of who they are, not because of what they are alleged to have done. Thanks again, love, respect and best wishes.

    Chris H. Boston, MA Submitted May 2012
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  • Thank you for this poem so much. Words help when it hurts inside. My husband is going to be gone for 9 years. He made wrong decisions but it feels like my son and I are also paying for them too. I know how it is to have the looks and whispers, From family, friends and perfect strangers. Telling me I'm dumb for being with him. I love with all my heart and soul and I will always will. This poem touch my heart and made feel like I'm not alone.

    Maria G, California Submitted May 2012
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  • Yes this poem touched my heart.. People act as if it's a crime to love someone on the inside and don't realize that it could easily happen to them. My heart goes out to every person that knows the feeling of loving someone that we can't reach. Take one day at a time and keep in mind that ''Only GOD can judge us''.

    Lil Als Gal, California Submitted Jun 2012
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  • This poem is so true I'm 21 I got married to my husband at 20 and right now he just got sentenced to 8 years in prison! :(( the worst part is that I can't even go see him! and I love him with all my heart I don't know how this is gonna work out yet being so far away.

    Ganza Submitted Jun 2012
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  • Thank you for this beautiful poem. It really touched my heart. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we have 2 boys. He is a wonderful man and has never been in trouble with the law. He made a mistake and has been in jail the last 7 months and will be going to prison for about 2 years. I love him so much and I will never give up on him. Some people just don't understand. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words I can share with friends and family.

    Holly G, Utah Submitted Jun 2012
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  • I have been with my man since December 1, 2010. He was in and out of jail his whole life. he was arrested three days ago for violating our no contact order and his looking at about a year in prison. He is my best friend, my life, and the greatest man I have ever known. Thank you for this beautiful piece of poetry.

    Cara, Fall River Submitted Jul 2012
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  • When I read this poem, I thought WOW!!! someone put my story into words. My hubby and I were married for 24 1/2 years before we divorced in 2010. After a few short months we realized that the divorce was a mistake and we have been working on our relationship since. In January 2012 he committed a crime that was blown all out of proportion in every type of media. They made him out to be a monster that our four grown children and I know he is not. Our children and I know what it feels like to have fingers pointed and comments whispered, even by people we thought were are true friends. He is serving his time and our children, grandchildren and I are eagerly awaiting his release in 2013. We are standing by his side through it all and when he is released I will proudly become his wife again. Thank You for sharing this poem, it is nice to know we are not alone. Our faith in God and love for each other will get us through all of this.

    Nadine, Warsaw Submitted Jul 2012
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  • Hi, to all. I perfectly understand what you all feel. I was in the shower this morning thinking about how the U.S. Marshalls barely give me any information where my husband is going to serve his sentence. I was thinking of all the comments from family and friends. A so called particular friend who had gotten married through church said to me ,"Girl if I were you I would have left him already." I asked her, "Wow, did you pay attention to the vows you just shared with your husband?" I told her, not just because your man is down you are going to continue kicking him. YOU ARE GOING TO BE THERE TO HELP HIM UP. Ladies stay cool and be strong because I know the emotions, the finances, us ladies go through and sometimes our children are what keeps us functioning probably 60-70 percent of the time. The other 30-40 percent is doing his time. That 30-40 percent if still missing in our lives to make us complete. A FAMILY!

    Letty, Donna, Tx. Submitted Aug 2012
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  • Thank you for telling my tale. I've been married to my husband for 8 years and for the last 4 he has been in jail serving a 25 year sentence.

    Lovy Fullwood Submitted Aug 2012
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  • My husband was sent to jail for 10 years when my son is only 7 months old.. Thank You for the poem. Some of the poem really touched me. Although what ever happens I will wait for him.

    Julie Submitted Aug 2012
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  • My Husband is in RMC right now, soon heading to a state prison to serve five years, hopefully 2-3 if were lucky. He is in protective custody right now because some guys found out his charges and decided five against one to ''teach him a lesson''. I love my husband, I married him after he was arrested, before sentencing. No one understands and everyone hates him. I'm 21 and his 24th birthday was last week. He spent it alone in a cell. All because of a stupid mistake he made online. He's learned his lesson, and continues to grow as a better person and yet people still hate him and think of him as a criminal. I hate it. I will send him this poem, thank you!

    Brittany, Jacksonville, Fl Submitted Sep 2012
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  • Your poem has touched my life. I have been going through what your poem describes for last 2 years. I have been outcasted from my family, because my husband has been in prison for last 2 years and has 20 year sentence. No one can tell us who we love, for I will stand by him until he is able to come home. Thank you once again.

    Michelle, Albany, Georgia Submitted Nov 2012
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  • Wow.... this is wild but I just wrote my fiancιe who's currently in prison a poem with this exact same theme, worded differentially but practically the exact same poem. My fiancιe and I were to be married April 22, 2012, unfortunately due to some unproved crimes which he still hasn't been sentenced on was arrested Feb. 16 due to pv, and must serve 3 on that. While clueless about the pending charges. We have a son that just turned 2. What makes it even worst is we're almost 3 states apart. Making it extremely hard to see one another. Haven't seen him since early March:'( but I could an wouldn't never leave him

    Tianna, Owensboro, Kentucky Submitted Dec 2012
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  • I am 21 and my Boyfriend of several years was put away and not yet been sentenced. We have a 5 month old daughter. When he was put away every one came after me with their comments and verbal abuse, and I am his only support system. His mother and father have gave up and disowned him. This poem made me tear up and it hit home for me. No matter what happens I will be by his side and fighting through life with him. Thank you for making this poem! And thank you for every one who has shared their stories!

    Candy, Nebraska Submitted Feb 2013
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  • Wow this has me in tears. So very true what an amazing poem. I'm a mother of two and my husband was sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison. My son is 5 1/2 and I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter when he went away. She is now 3.

    Nicole, Baltimore Submitted 6/16/2013
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  • So thankful for your poem. Do know that it is something as simple as a poem that can calm ones spirit. Our family has been feeling the words of your poem for only five months now, but it feels like five years. We support our imprisoned love ones because that's the love of God inside each one of us. I pray many blessings of strength upon you and your family. No one take away from you that which God only gives, and that is love. It's sad to say but true that some people will only understand if and when it happens to them.

    Hope,Ohio Submitted 7/24/2013
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  • Reading this poem was so me. My son's father is in jail. He hasn't been in his life but is in jail right now and wants to be part of his life. But all my family doesn't want him to have any contact with him. My son deserves to know his father. I can so relate to this poem. It's what I am going thru right now with my family. Thank you. I am going to send this to my son's father.

    Cindy, California Submitted 12/19/2013
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  • My fiancι is in jail right now. We had a son back in December of 2012, and he died on Christmas eve 2012 from a hole in his stomach that was not detected. He was so heartbroken that his first son died and he thought it was his fault for the longest time even though he knew that he had nothing to do with our son's death. A month and 2 days after our son passed he committed a crime and has been in the county jail for a year 1/26. I miss him so very much and he could be looking to a long time in prison for the crime he committed. He is guilty of the crime and I do NOT agree with what he did but I couldn't do anything to prevent him from doing it.

    Kali, Arkansas Submitted 1/27/2014
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