Day after day, as discouragement seeps into the hidden crevices of my heart—a sound low and pulsating reverberates in the far distance. Time slides by and suddenly I find myself gasping for the precious air that discouragement steals.
I raise my weary eyes to gaze into the distance. On the horizon, there shimmers an object too small to decipher, but I judge that it is approaching. Slowly and meticulously, it inches closer as questions swirl around doubt and trepidation. Days turn into months, and still no announcement of its arrival.
Try as I might, to facilitate or plan for it, nothing can prepare me for its unexpected appearance. Suddenly, it stands at my door beckoning me to come outside. Standing in all its glorious wonder—it pushes away the lingering doubt, fear, and utter discouragement. The brilliant, translucent, yet opulent rays that spring forth in its eternal beauty capture me, encircling me.
The pulsating reverberations now have become a lilting symphony of tinkling chimes, fluted and stringed instruments. The sheer giddiness of their intoxicating affects cause me to feel as though I were floating and twirling, dancing on a cloud with my new companion.
As the music slowly fades, I am standing on solid ground with a renewed sense of empowerment as my future looks so much richer. The one thing I have strived for, worked toward and finally achieved has been given to me. Those two life-changing, hypnotic words, PAROLE GRANTED, echo within me.
One hundred and fifty-five days go by and although the Governor’s decision is five days late, I do not release what I grasp in my hands.
Suddenly, a crashing, screeching cacophony splits the serene silence while absolute dread marches though, announcing PAROLE DENIED.
Shaken to my very core, shivering from the devastating assault, I turn to my companion and whisper, “I will save the last dance for you, Hope.”
Je’Anna Redwood is one of the incarcerated contributors to Razor Wire Women.