Writing from the Norfolk City Jail Project in Response to One Word Prompts


To the Falling

We fall down, but we don’t have to stay down. Falling down is part of life. Getting up shows that you have hope. Life is full of choices and decisions that could cause you to fall. It’s not the fall that hurts. It’s only when you don’t get back up. I’ve been falling for the past 25 years, but I always get back up. Falling is not the end, it’s a delay not denial!

Robert Phillip Woodhouse


Clean is somewhat new to me for I have never been clean for long. I wash my hands before work, but before long they are not clean. Again they say being clean means you’re somewhat closer to God. I happened to clean out my house from this filth inside and out. 2 be sober is clean. Because clean to me is not only my mouth. I make sure my relationship is clean with taking out the trash. What makes me clean is how I dress. So play you part in making the world a clean place to live.

Clarence Mayo


I could hear my heart beating the day I got arrested. My heart was beating very fast like never before. From the crime scene to the police station my heartbeat increased. My chest got very tight after each heartbeat. I told the officer that my heart was beating too fast. They called the ambulance which took me to the hospital. At the hospital, they checked the beating of my heart. They monitored my heart for 5 hours. While being monitored my thoughts of having a heart attack was very clear and intense. The first thoughts were of family and loved ones. The pain that I have caused them again. How long will we be apart again? Would they be there for me this time? How can I explain this to my grandchildren? Relationships come and go. Family, children, and grandchildren are here to stay. The doctor said that my heart was okay. I was having an anxiety attack, not a heart attack.

Robert P. Woodhouse



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