Places I Write

Here’s where I write. Where do you do it?

I write outside the gates of the women’s prison in the Appalachia Mountains.

I write in the driver’s seat of my rented Ford Fusion in the prison parking lot and I can’t crank the key, not yet, still traumatized by my first return to my first home.

I write behind my eyelids  while prison guards search me everywhere.

I write for my freedom in the Super 8 down the hill from another prison, another state, more states, thousands locked up.

I write off the sweat of my heritage, all those I never met but their scent, their labor,
their losses, their love seeps into and out of me, salty drops on my forehead.

I write under a blood-red moon, its beam carved into the edge of my soul.

I write suspended in air, a trance at dawn in a dream sheet of velvet like a magic carpet until the pad of little girls’ feet on kitchen tile downstairs draws me out because
they’re hungry.

I write for them, my daughters’ future, their femaleness, for their voices to rise unlocked.

9 thoughts on “Places I Write

  1. Denise Sassoon (aka, Squeeze)

    I just discovered you…made my day, my week, my year. I was not born in prison, but spent much of my youth there, and/or nodded out, BUT for the past 24 years, have worked in and outside prisons doing my best to demonstrate there is a way out, that people can change – both to the women and anyone else who is willing to listen. I’ve recently completed a book-”Five to Fifteen: A Woman, A Prison, A Redemption” that began in 1978 while in prison-over 30 years of journals, notes, ramblings, scribblings….aside from my blog, i’m on Facebook, and would be so so so grateful if you would take a look at some of the excerpts, and perhaps guide me, help me, partner with me…anything!!! Clearly, I share your passion for every women who suffers the realities, indignities, and injustices. I trust you won’t find this presumptious, but one must strive to reach the sky.

  2. Deborah Jiang Stein Post author

    Hi Denise, thanks for your note. Way to go, reaching for the sky. I went to check out your page and the link with your name is broken. Btw, great name, Squeeze.
    I’m on facebook here and if you’d like to read more, Huffington Post
    Enough about me. I’m sure you have stories to tell. Let me know your link and I’ll read your excerpts. Glad to *meet* you.

      1. Denise aka Squeeze

        So….any suggestions, hints, leads as to finding a home for my book? I do have an agent who is sending it to various publishing companies, but if we had a name, such as yours’ attached….oh, the possibilities. Hoping you don’t regard me/this as presumptious…but more, determination. Thank you.


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