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Laura Mullen


My heart bumped fast because I knew what I did and there was absolutely no place I could have hidden.

The cops in clear site, I squinted from the bright lights flashing in front of me -

Blinded by the lights I surrendered to my fate.

It was over and I would not put up a fight.

The sirens and sounds were loud yet all I heard was my heart pounding heavily in my chest - One hand covering my face, the other hand in the air - as they came closer to me I remember my mom standing tall as a wall.

Always saying be strong even when everything was going wrong.

I stared into the night…

The car ride was long, I think I wept the entire time... thinking of my son - holding my heart, wondering, "What now?"

It’s so cold in there you could smell it. It was filthy from the floor to the ceiling and dirty concrete walls - the carving on the wall done by peeling off the faded paint –

I crawled up like a ball, closed my eyes tightly, and wished I was not here.

Not having any idea how long I had to stay... I began to feel faint.

If they would just leave me alone –

Stripped –

Invasive embarrassing searches



Violating my private parts and me –

I escape into my mind

Shutting my eyes tightly

I am not here

I am not anywhere

I am a sliver of what I used to be –

Wondering, when they’re done with me, will there be anything left of my soul?


It’s worse than what had happened to me in the streets

Where I sell who I am for a bag of dope.

Waking up to my reality - sweating, sick - three days of throw up and shitting.

Eating nothing for days, the dope withdrawals had me in a haze - brain on overdrive, just wishing and dreaming of getting high as my legs cramped up and arms turned tight. It felt worse than getting jumped and beaten up in a fight. And so I slept and wept for a whole week. As the days passed my thoughts became clear and I wondered and wondered, was the end near? How long did they plan on keeping me here? Then the C.O. screams, “Mullen, roll up!” Was it over, is this it, the end of hell? I still couldn't tell. Finally they informed me, “You’re going to a different jail.”


How I wished I was back on the run and not on the jail bus to a different place, not knowing what to expect and my anxiety on ten. All she wanted to know was when would this end.

The new jail was clean from what she had seen. Reality set in and this was definitely not a dream. The clock ticked and the days passed, still no answer to how long it would last.


On the outside I tried and I tried

I pray I lock my disgusting past in these cells when I walk away

Painting by Gwynne Duncan 

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