From Northern State Correctional

The following pieces were written by men in the Writers for Recovery group in the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, VT.

morning CS1.jpg

A Morning Clean and Sober by Anonymous
Refreshing, exhilarating, healthy, happy, energetic, guilt-free,
motivated, more money in my pocket,
I know where my wallet is, and my teeth;
the air smells fresher, cleaner
and the bacon, eggs, and toast
make my stomach happy too;
the kitchen is clean,
there are no beer and whisky bottles
on the table, floor, couch,
no cigarette burns on the table
and the ash trays aren’t overflowing.
I feel a sense of self-control.
I’m ready to go to work.I don’t stink of alcohol—I’m clean and sober.


A Morning Clean and Sober by Anonymous
A morning clean and sober
will be when I come back from jail.
Can I really tell my kids it’s worth it?
It’s been four months,
can I really be successful on the street?
Can I be strong and say no
when I see people are using or ask me,
“Do you want some?”
Only time will tell.


A Morning When I'm Using by Anonymous
To separate.
To be absent.
Longing for that warm light.
Not to feel, not to know.
Begging for darkness,
clinging to life.
To live to use,
to use to live.
The life never wanted,
the life I now live.


I Am From by Anonymous
Where I come from.
Life was...well,
life was something else, I tell you.
I did not know
what the hell was right or what was wrong.
There was fighting.
My mom was always drunk.
My first memories were
of my own mother being passed out.
My dad would be out in the garage
building hot rods with his friends, smoking pot.
So honestly I don’t know
where to say I am from.
If I was to guess I’m probably from space.
Outer space.


If I Were in Charge by Anonymous
If I were in charge,
I would be more in charge of my life.
Maybe, just maybe, I would not be incarcerated.
If I were in charge
I would have been more influential
as my life revolved from early teenager
to where I would like to be now.
My path surely would have been different,
maybe the journey I desperately yearn for
would have been a reality and not a fantasy?
Maybe Dena and I could have
owned a house, a better car, etc.
Only now the reality is I’m in jail,
being told what to do,
when and how to do it.
That was a nice dream,
if I were in charge.


If I Were in Charge by Anonymous
If I was in charge of the world as a president,
I would ban drugs, but only for medical use only.
But I’m not in charge of the world only my corner of it.
I don’t allow my body to be subjected to the devil’s possession
of the craving for that
or for the one the morning after.
The high love in life is a natural high of life.
When you’re high on life,
you are in charge
of when you or if you want to come down.
Life is too short to stay high.
The first thing you know it your life is over,
like a blink of an eye.


The Toughest Decision I've Ever Made
Well I have to say
the toughest decision I've ever made
was me coming clean to my family and friends
about me being 1) gay and 2) a transgender female.
I feared discrimination, disrespect, and lots of criticism.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy for me
at school or public places
and I feared about what
my home life would consist of as well.
I chose to go to my guidance counselor at the time
and over time slowly explained myself,
for her to tell me everyone deserves
to be loved the same no matter
who or what they were
and some people can stay in your heart
but not in your life
and if they were not willing to understand
and take you for who you were
they didn’t deserve to have you in their life.
So that was the toughest decision I ever made.


God I Pray by Anonymous
I will hope and pray for your love.
Lord I hope you hear my cries.
You are the savior of the world,
You gave your own son for us.

Which he died on the cross for our sin,
If we believe in you and your son,
We will be sure and walk in your kingdom.
You are my lord and savior.

I want to live in your kingdom,
Your house of the lord.
I will obey your laws.
Hear my cry for help.

I hope and pray for you.
You are my God my lord
And savior, love save me.

Gary MillerComment