If tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes,
All filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry,
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me;
As much as I love you.
And each time you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too.

But when tomorrow comes without me,
Please try to understand;
Karma came and called my name,
And fate took me by the hand.

I was told my place was ready,
In a prison far above,
And I’d have to leave behind,
All those I love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I’d thought,
I’d be fine.

I had so much to live for,
So much left to do.
It almost seemed impossible,
That I was leaving the world and you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad.
I thought of all that we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d change my ways and kiss you,
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be.
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.

And when thought of worldly things,
That I might miss tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through the prison gates,
I felt so much alone,
The building loomed over me.
I faced the great unknown.

This is Menard Prison,
And the punishment for you,
Today your life in the world is past,
But here it starts anew.

No promise of tomorrow,
But today will always last.
And since each day is the same,
There’s no longing for the past.

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart.
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here in your heart.

~ Paul McLaughlin R-48474 Menard, IL

 

(CJNN News Summer 2013)

A Day Without Me – Poetry by Inmates
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