By Lisa Huddleston
In prison by 18,
In the gang section,
In the hole when he got in trouble.
In the hole a lot, I think.
“Couldn’t work on my GED.
Too busy just trying to stay alive.”
Sad and wearied eyes rest on big hands.
Now he has a 10-year-old, a daughter,
And he wants to learn to read.
So we begin,
“This is a bird with a long tail and a round body.
‘B’ looks like a bird with a long tail and a round body.”
And it looks like hope.
At the end of one hour and three lessons,
We shake hands,
Mine swamped in his,
And look forward to next week.