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Flashing lights and crime scene tape surround me,

after years of searching, they've finally found me.

Buried beneath layers of deceit and shame,

hidden behind different masks and countless blame.

A crime has been committed, the assailant well known

there's no need for a line up because he stands alone.

Looking back at the hardships and trials in my life,

I find my own fingerprints on the hilt of the knife.

Time seems to pause as reality sets in,

feet losing purchase on the ice so thin.

There's no boogeyman or monster under the bed,

the culprit exits only inside my own head.

Though I had been abused in my youth,

I embraced the pain and smothered the truth.

I know of no higher betrayal than harming one's self,

a Judas to my own success and overall health.

Unrealistic morals, beliefs, hatred and violence

I accepted each attack with shameful silence.

I chose to walk this path and to play this hand,

robbing my own piggy bank and filling it with sand.

The shackles of bondage are self imposed,

alone only due to the people I've disposed.

Awake now, my mind clear of all sorrow

gazing wearily into the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Patrick Elledge #300326

Washington State Department of Corrections

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