A Poem

Today I received truly horrible treatment by the max-unit staff. But this post is not to share what happened. The women I am imprisoned with think the treatment is because of this blog. It could be, it could not be. Either way I wrote this in a cell today, this poem to the guards.



Dear jailer


I just wanted to say hello.

You see me everyday

But you never say hello.

You’ve yelled at me before

You’ve touched my body before

You’ve written reports on me before,

But you’ve never said hello.


I bet we have a lot in common

That we’re more alike than not

I wonder if you spoke to me,

You’d still afterwards want me to “rot.”

Did you know that I have feelings?

I bet you have them too.

I bet you laugh at funny jokes

And cry when you are blue.

I have many feelings to,

And I get hurt by what you do,

But you don’t know this, and I don’t share;

You hate me and of you I’m scared.


But I bet we have a lot in common

I bet if we had a cup of coffee together

We’d learn that we share interests, hopes and fears.

And we might wonder the same wonders.

And we might come to talk about important things.

We might come to argue, but some truths it could bring.


For you might say that “criminals” all hurt one another

And I might admit I think it’s the guards who are trouble

And then we may argue about who could be wrong

But we’d also agree on one point that is strong:


It’s only the labels that make us feel hate

On a personal level you may think I’m okay

You may say, “that girl’s not your average crook”

And I may respond, “you’re not as cruel as you look.”


But I’d still conclude guards commit a crime by being guards

And you’d still probably believe in walls, cuffs and bars.


And that leaves us at odds and divided and angry,

And forgetting that we come from the same human family.


Jailer, I just wanted to say “hello” today

And wonder what would happen if we let go of hate.



4 comments on “A Poem

  1. Rachael P says:

    This is sad but beautiful Nyki. Your strength throughout all of this is inspirational.

    Don’t ever give up the fight. It may be sad to say that everthing happens for a reason, and I believe it truly does. I hope you become a stronger person everyday and continue to inspire others to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. Both in prison and out!

    I’m sorry that I know your story through such awful circumstances but I am grateful for the work you and your friends and family do, raising awareness.

    I’m sitting at a London train station now on the way to work at 6:40 in the morning and I know your story.

    You are not alone Nyki, the world is watching. 🙂

    Be Brave!

    Your friend from Lindon
    Rachael P


  2. Judy Bridgman says:

    No truer words have been written. We all come from the same human family and need to love and respect each other…not because of what we’ve done (or not done) but because of who we are!
    I have shared your blog to educate others because we need to make change and help those who end up in prison and make a difference…

  3. Mike Wiesner says:

    Nyki, the actual name of the communist leader, Leon Trotsky, was Lev Bronstein. He took the name Trotsky from a brutal jailer who tormented him while in prison. Trotsky’s imprisonment was for attempting to bring social justice to Russia. Trotsky loved the irony of using the name.

    I am also sharing your blog. People care, and there will come a time when you will be looking back on this. Till then…..

    Stay Strong!

  4. Matt says:

    Your poem had a significant impact on me. I have never written poetry but I wrote four poems after reading this. Three of the four are about members of your family (you, Toria and your mom). I think about you every day.

    Amazing Nyki by Matt Baratta
    You were given the name Nicole which means victory of the people.
    You are kind, compassionate, intelligent, pretty and loving.
    You are so good at writing, song writing and singing that I named a carpet, Nyki’s Notes in your honor.
    You are active for causes that you believe in and genuinely care for others.
    You focus on educating other through Books to Bars.
    You have been accused and wrongfully convicted of a crime that you could not have possibly committed.
    When I met you for the first time it seemed like old friends reconnecting.
    If I had to describe you in one word, I would choose AMAZING.
    You are AMAZING NYKI!!!!!!!

    Terrific Toria
    Your name means victory.
    There is a queen with your name.
    You are so pretty that I think of you as Miss North America.
    You are so loveable so you can be my personal Hug-A-Bear.
    Your intelligence far exceeds your age.
    I created a new word to summarize my feeling about you.
    You are the BESTEST, TERRIFIC TORIA!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s