Behind the Wall features submissions from our relatives incarcerated inside the criminal justice system. This poem is from Leanne Henderson, a member of the Stride Program for restorative justice at the Women’s Correctional Centre in Headingley, Manitoba.

What would you say if I told you I could not feel?
If I couldn’t tell you what was fake, or what is real.
I can’t remember the last time I had a good laugh,
Or a really good cry, but I can tell you all the times I wanted to die.
The day I lost my innocence, my youth, and my smile.
Those moments I could never gain back, nor reconcile.
I can remember when all this chaos started,
A time from this world, when my mother parted.
No one to love me, or show me the way to be.
At one time I had a family, but now it’s only me.
I made a choice, now I live in this 6×8 cell.
I wish I could turn back time, instead of living in this hell.
I can’t collect $200, and I can’t pass go.
No fame or fortune, I’ve nothing to show.
Don’t know what I’m waiting for, or what I’m trying to say.
I suppose I’ll figure it out, when I get released someday.