"Twas the night before Christmas,
and here in my cell,
I think to myself,
"This must surely be Hell."

The prison's in lockdown
at the warden's insistence,
There is no one to talk to,
and there'll be no resistance.

Each inmate is locked in
his cell for the night.

No turkey,

No sleigh bells,

No warm candlelight.

With my head in my hands,

I sit in the cold,
And remember past Christmasses,
silver and gold.

To sleep would bring
dreams and memories of home.

But I sit here in silence,
forsaken, alone.

When all of a sudden
in the darkness
- a cry.

A heart wrenching sob,
and a softly asked,

"Why don't they visit,
why don't they write?

Why am I here on
this Christmas Eve night?"

My hand grips the bars,
I think hard to reply.

But there's nothing to say,
there's no answer to "Why?"

And just when it seems
there is only despair.

I remember that someone
somewhere out there cares.

I turn back to that
most precious gift of them all.

A handwritten letter,
so tenderly scrawled.

My hand trembles a moment,
I take out the page.

The paper all yellowed
and crinkled with age.

I've read it so often,
I know every word.

To those who don't know
it would seem quite absurd.

But I treasure each sentence,
re-read every line.

The message so simple,
"I hope you are fine?"

And I feel myself smiling
as I get to the end -

Sincerely, Your Friend.

This poem was submitted by
a former Texas Prisoner...

Texas Prisoners Network Support