CYMBELINE – Week 17 – February 6

The Shakespeare Prison Project is dedicated to the development of healthy self-awareness and self-expression.  Our ongoing work with Shakespeare’s language, in all its richness and complexity, is one way we cultivate this development.  We also encourage original writing by our participants.

In this vein, Carl shared several of his poems with us this evening.  Here is one of them.


i remember the days when i

would awaken to the sounds of sade

incense would be wafting through the air

a cigarette would be burning in the metal seashell ashtray

this is the only love i know from a woman

she would hum the melodies

as she cleaned our humble abodes

looking into her face always made me wonder

why i had no freckles beautifully placed on my face

what would you like to eat baby

being so caught up in her aura

i would always reply i don’t care

truthfully i didn’t

just having her around at that moment was all i could care about

because before this morning’s surprise visit

i hadn’t seen her in a week or two

i can tell she hasn’t been eating

the hollowing of her cheeks means she’s ten pounds lighter

this morning she’s in her mode though

sade’s taking her to another world as well as i

when things were good and the sun never stopped shining

when she would lick her thumb to clean my face

draped in gold she reminded me of an egyptian queen

she was the apple in every man’s eye

only in mine she was everything my world

as she took a pull from her newport and greased the pan

i was reminded of the pain she was going through

in my adolescent mind

i thought i was stressing her out too much

why else would she leave us so

she looked so worn

a shell of my beauty queen

yet i still loved her more than anything

even when her baby daddy

sold my backpack on the first day of school

nothing could tear us apart

no tears as they sold my first puppy

they were sick and i only wanted her to get better

as she scrambled those eggs and toasted that toast

i smiled at her but i was dying inside

who knew that in a few years

i would leave her for eighteen winters and seventeen summers

now i can only wonder within my confines

if she is dying inside

now i wonder

but i won’t dwell because now

in my absence my queen shines once again

momma you shining

shining like new gold

and i will too in 6570 days

we will meet again












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