Recorded for Poem-a-Day February 20, 2019. Read by Clint Smith.
About this Poem 

This poem is published in partnership with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, an organization based in Washington, DC, that is committed to elevating and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by the prison system. Through creative writing, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, Free Minds assists members, who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults, in realizing their own potential. The poet’s last name was withheld on request in consideration of their privacy.

War Within Myself

I've been fighting a War Within Myself all my life,
Tired of the hurt, the pain, the strife.
Anger consumes me from day to day,
Cellies now walking on eggshells, unsure of what to say.
I do pray each night for the peace that I need in my heart,
I need it before I tear what friendships I have apart.
Prison has a funny way of doing some things,
Leaves me wondering what tomorrow may bring.
I'm tired of the hate, anger and pain that I feel,
I just want my heart and soul to be healed.
I want to be able to simply laugh at a joke,
I need someone to help me before I lose all hope.
My heart is almost completely hardened with what I've been through,
I need someone, anyone, maybe that someone is you.
I'm fighting a War Within Myself, and I'm so tired,
So nervous, scared, like I'm on a high tight wire.
I hope that I don't fall before someone catches me,
But then again... maybe it's my destiny.

Copyright © 2019 by Daniel K. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by Daniel K. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Daniel K.

Daniel K.’s poem “War Within Myself” was selected by Clint Smith, guest editor for Poem-a-Day in February 2019, and published on February 20, 2019.