I Refuse to Allow Him

The first time I visited “the place”
I imagine it being “a school”
But not my type of school
Well, that’s what your family wants you to believe as a child
Witnessing barbwires
Hearing bells ringing
Disgruntle security guards who felt like babysitters
And the one-way ticket to enter the other side... Metal Detectors
In order to sit in a large room with many other visitors with
My 7-year-old self with my grandma visiting my Uncle, with his jumpsuit on

History repeats itself a few years later
I never thought I would have to go visit a prison again
Sitting in the back seat with my brother
Starring at the window
The sun starts to rise
Gas stations pass by
Stores pass by
Driving until you see open land with
Gray walls rising up
Even though I visited a prison before
It still felt like my first time being there
With, the babysitter guards and the metal detector ticket
To the other side
The visiting room

As I watch my baby brother walk through the metal detectors
I see a reflection of myself
Walking through those detectors
With socks on and taking off everything with metal

Seeing my stepdad entering the visiting room
Made me realize how much this visit means to him
Because when we leave, he goes back to that cage
Even in the visiting room, the convicts have limited freedom
They can’t go near the vending machines
Or even share bathrooms with visitors
They must sit at the left side of the chair

It is hard to believe that almost every male species
In My family,
Ends up this way or on the wrong path
A few exceptions
My dad dropped out of school but is going back now
My cousin, unlike the others, just earned his bachelors
Meanwhile, One uncle went to jail,
He is a drop out and a Mamma’s boy
A stepdad in jail an innocent man
With no way of getting out
My 17-year-old brother, who is on the road of dropping out of school
Getting arrested and maybe ending up behind bars,
A cousin who’s just thinks he’s “gangtsa”,
Another cousin, who is quiet as a mouse but is a real sneak,
Meanwhile, my dad dropped out of school but is going to back to school now
A and my other cousin, unlike the others, just earned his bachelors
But a 7-year-old 1st grader,
My brother
I refuse to allow him
To be part of cycle with these male figures


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