When the conviction
A mere sentencing
Takes away more than the prescribed commitment
Does it matter the crime?
And more so
Who is really the victim?
As the judge
Is so quick to judge
By the rules that hold us
and knows that what really hold us
Is that
No one can really hold us
Love is

Not restricted

When I was a kid
Only 13 years old my mother
my best friend
My always held hand
Got locked up for 9 years in prison
I was hurt
I was hurt like a simple conversation like
“I’ll be back, I am just walking to the store
Turning into a 9 year long walk back though that door”
A missing of way to long and getting used to it
From seen
At 13
To again at 22
A missing of mother moments
Being more than just moments
I’m hurt like
I’m used to it
Forced to be boxed up
Hearts being locked up
And it makes me question

Who really got locked up?

As these crimes
Not only take away life
But they block us
Mock trust
And help with this mindset of separation

A path of isolation

I asked my mother once

I asked her
“When you were in prison ….
Like how
Tell me how you
Did it
How did you…

She looked me in my eyes
With this…. look of determination in her eyes
That said more than the words can even described
And she said
She said
Knowing that she was

A few weeks ago I spoke to this lady
We socialized about our lives
And conversed about the compromise
She told me her story of love
A type of love that made her survive hard times
A love that helped her find
Something in her deep inside
And the funny thing is
We shared so much of ourselves
So faint as we knew the getaway
Is found in a conversation
Those conversations that make connections close
And the funny thing is
We were only talking the phone
Had never spoke before
Both so comfortable
Spilling parts of our souls
And the way she described this love
I knew she had my mother’s look in her eyes

She told me that despite
A fight
And the heights she had to climb
Over the expression of her love
That she was going battle
Because her love mattered

She said she knew that her love
Was the difference in
Distance being insignificant
Considering want
And commitment
Not being stopped
Due to being a victim

So she fought
Never considered the lost
As she knew that loved lost
Would be the actual sentence
She didn’t accept restrictions
Or wasn’t conflicted by rules given

Accepted hearts wants
Compassions needs
Two people being driven by forever
Accompanied with
Bind in the passenger seat

Their destination was marriage
A fight unnecessarily fought
Blocked by the barriers of a judge
Attempting to keep
Loved locked up

This lady told her partner
She said that bars can’t stop us
Because stopping is not an option
She told her love
That they will be one

And they won

That power of love
Made sure that
That love


By William Davis, “Endlesswill”
Poet Laureate, Hillsborough NC
Owner/Operator, Writer’s Block Publishing
Performed at Poetic Justice 2019, with inspiration from Amanda Marriner, who struggled to legally marry her incarcerated partner in North Carolina