New Writing from the Women’s Block, Norfolk City Jail

Why Are You Here?

I am here writing as I think on the lines of this paper. I love this class because I would like to write about my life one day and not be afraid that someone would see it and be mad about it. How and what I feel. If I could write it like it is. And the way it was.  I am the writer. And I can tell the story better than anyone can.

Rhonda L.D.S. 2159




I’ve said goodbye so many times. said I want to be free. That I was ready to cut all ties. I loved you — God, how I loved you. Being with you made me feel alive. Everything was brand new. You took me to soaring heights. Candy-filled days and dreamy nights.

But the end was bitter. It was agony. It was hell. I felt so worthless. I was a ne’er-do-well.

You had dominated my days. Filled my nights. Destroyed my dreams. You changed me. You weren’t anything you seemed.

When I met you, you were amazing and charming. You were my friend. But you brought me to my knees, and I knew our relationship had to end.

Your kisses stung and pierced me all the way to my soul. Your love left me breathless and I surrendered control. You took everything from me and left me with nothing — no life, no pride, no dignity.

I’m taking it all back now. Because I heard I deserve more than the love of a drug that leaves me broken and sore. No more broken promises — no more empty vows. This time I mean it. I’m really leaving you now.

So long, old friend, I’m ready to heal and set my broken heart to mend. I’m finally ready to put our sordid love affair to an end.

Danielle Grillo-Burgess


Growing Pains

Well, I’d like to believe I’ve done quite a bit of self-growth. In fact, I know I have. I take care of me so much better than I ever have, especially mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I feel myself growing and learning things in areas I’ve not felt before. I see maturity in my conversations and feedback I give others. I tend to keep the war out. It doesn’t star in my play anymore. I see self-improvement and I’m striving to see more.

Crazy Beautiful


(Sculpture: Lick and Lather, Janine Antoni, 1993)



Well, if I start with why am I here on this planet that would be all too obvious — the birds and the bees speech.

As a child I thought I was here to protect my father.

Why I am here in this chair is a bit of a different story.

My father and I moved to Virginia when I was thirteen. I met my soulmate at fifteen. We’ve had one hell of a ride these past twelve years, but I still know our love is stronger than anything else in this world.

My downfall, at least recently, was when he was locked up and I was alone and lost. One day I got in a car accident when the brakes went out in the car I was driving. With no license and being out on bond, I panicked and ran. The police found me hiding in a bush. Though I tried to get away, here I am now in jail.

Since being here I have gotten into the Programs Block. Recently my best friend here got into Programs as well. She is one reason I do believe I ended up here. I was meant to meet Gomez. She is really extraordinary and my best friend.

After getting into Programs I saw that creative writing was back to sign up for. A friend suggested I take it if given the opportunity. She loved it. So I took her advice and signed up.

After signing up and starting class I realized she was right.

So now I am here in this chair today, not to look good for court with more classes.

I am in this chair in this class because I really like this class. What’s kept me in this class the most and made it fun and worth the time was my teacher, Ms. Lisa. Ms. Lisa has an amazing heart that shines and a bubbly, fun personality. She is what makes this class, creative writing, and everything worth everything.

Thank you, Ms. Lisa.

Love, Samantha Trepanier








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