Growing up I looked at the world through rose coloured spectacles.
I felt the world owed me something.
What that something was I couldn’t say.
My parents gave me strong guidelines to live by but I didn’t use them.
I was the outcast, the black sheep.
Most of my life I fought for a place in society.

I began to drink and smoked the poison my parents warned me about.
The art on my body represented my freedom.
People feared me though I carried no weapons.
Time after time I tasted life behind those steel bars.
Still I refused to listen.
It was my way and my way only that mattered.

Then one day I committed one of the most awful crimes
Murder in the first degree.
And for that I had to pay a fee.
I was sentenced to twenty years behind bars.

Each day there made me despise what I had become.
The truth was I didn’t know how to turn my life around.
I had no clue and my mother’s sweet voice kept going round in my head.
The many times she cried thinking I was dead.

After ten years I was let out on parole for good behavior.
I began to fear the outside world because I knew I couldn’t go back to being bad.
Yet bad was all I knew.

People didn’t want to know me.
Out of desperation I committed another crime.
It was a crime for survival.

I was back again behind those bars. And this time I knew it was for life.
But I was wrong because one day I met an old, wise priest.
He gave me a book called; “Ten ways to survive in this world.”
I thought it was rubbish!
Meant only to punish!

Soon in the silence of my cell I paged through that book.
It made sense to me so I had another in depth look.
Maybe that priest saw some good in me?

I cannot say but simply let it be.
Another ten years passed by.
Once again I was granted parole.

I left those walls behind me.
Into a world that I could now be me!

Am I now this changed person?
That is the question. Now I tender to various gardens.
Did I get my second chance?
It doesn’t feel like it because invisible walls surrounding me.
I remain a prisoner in my mind.
Still searching and trying hard to find,
The second chance that eludes me and peace that won’t let me be.