human dignityI have some new people in my life
and I met them in a rather unusual way
because a couple of Sundays a month I drive
25 miles to volunteer at a library where they live
the women all live together
and for now that is where they will stay
we always meet where they live 
it is not possible for them to visit me where I call home
they work in the library which I supervise
which is housed on the grounds where they live
hard workers they are proud to check out
and shelve books as a part of their job
earning about 49 cents per hour
time with them is spent chatting and sometimes being a bit silly
always polite and respectful they call me Miss Joyce
 often they  are complimentary about the clothes I wear
 expressing their likes about colorful pair of tennis shoes
with multi colored laces
maybe because their attire every day  is
 either blue or gray sweats, sweat shirts,  tees or knee length shorts
I believe that each of them has a special story about why they
are living here
however they are closed mouthed about who they are and the
  their life details
what I do know is that they are a human being
just like me and worthy of being treated with dignity
  in truth I know they have all made a mistake are now paying the price
for a choice or choices they have made
we all have make mistakes and in some cases lucky
that we have escaped the legal consequences
 I am hoping the wrong choices they have made
and now the price 
they now pay 
and that the stigma of that error will not
forever be who they are
 maybe someday I will see them after there stay here is over
somewhere else wearing colors bright
with their freedom a present sight      ###

Joyce Knock - volunteer - women's prison

#prison #mistakes #women #inmate #life