Year 1 by Takia Parham
Because of Rehabilitation through the Arts, Takia Parham had the opportunity to take poetry classes in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Her work has since been published in Duende Literary Journal’s “Incarcerated Writers Feature,” and Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Vol. 5, an anthology from Southeast Missouri State University Press.
Since being released from prison in December of 2016, Parham has lectured on the transformative power of the arts at The New School, Marist College, and Hunter College. Parham is working toward her bachelor’s in theatre and new media at Marymount Manhattan College and teaches youth through the Arts 10566 theatre program.
My feet made of bronze in the morning/
wishes the groundhog of this monotonous day wouldn't see my shadow/
letting the day die young and tender/
before the routine of heating my hot water in a hot pot/
brushing my teeth in a faded mirror
Die tender/ yes/ swollen with hope/ plump with future potentialities/
Before the shadows come/
Beneath eyelids sunken/ heavy / ropes with burden lines/
blurred over time lends me age.
Days gone by aching to be filled/ deep.
It is year one and preparations for my appeal merge with r.e.m/
sleep awake/ shock/ noise trauma/ flash bulbs of horror no one knows/
no one believes/ so I persist like a toddler on wobbly legs/
I'm too green for the high grass to know what lies ahead in my journey.
Sun yet still shining on my face/ I envision palm trees/
I can smell them in the breeze of the yard air/ beyond wired fences/
my moment of freedom
when my shadow has yet to surround me