The Poetry Project

The Censorship

Brian Stevens

My letter got denied today. It boarded the censorship and sailed away. “Send home or destroy is what they said, some things are better off left unread. Don’t want dangerous thoughts getting in my head, so here’s a safer idea instead. Shut your mouth and do as you’re told, over and over until you grow old. If you be a good dog and obey what we say, you just might make it out alive someday. If you bark, yell, and try to rebel, you’ll just end up further in Hell. Propaganda is what we’ll feed you, because conform is what you need to. Don’t worry about the news out there, following the rules should be your only care. Your humanity will be saved, when your debts to society have been paid. But I’m not buying what they’re selling, because radical change is the only money in the pocket of a felon. Time to rise against the powers that be, not gonna buy anymore of your commissary. Not gonna work in the kitchen for free, don’t care how many chicken patties you give me. Not gonna cut the grass, take out the trash, or mop the floor. Not gonna do that anymore. Not gonna wear this uniform that makes us all look the same. I’m more than a number, I was born with a name. Not gonna wear this mask that covers up my mouth, because it’s time to scream and it’s time to shout! Let it be known, uncensored around the globe, we will no longer unrightfully do what we’re told. We all have a voice, so let it be heard, every conversation starts with a single word. We gotta break down these walls and come together as one, because too much time is being spent in prison. I never got my letter, but I already knew what it would say, “You are not a slave and you will be free one day.”

I am climbing the stairs…