Suzanna C Chevalier

(4-18-1966 / Elizabeth, New Jersey)

'We Don't Smile In Here'


I think this is a sad fact
that you are not suppose to smile
to be happy or to laugh.
Even for mug shots they want
you to look bad—
“Don’t smile and look like a criminal?
Does that make inmate feel glad? ”
Why should jail be a place of gloom?
I know they don’t want you to come back
but I feel that is something that they “all assume”.
Most inmates feel their name has been ruined
even before you get out your mug shot is up real soon.
Public records “They do say”
Well, I think that is like slander, gossip and mug shots
should Not have their day.
Not at least for inmates who are not a harm to everyone
this can ruin their image and make you hide from the sun.
Getting back to “They don’t want you to come back”
but it seems jail makes you feel less than, be defensive
and feel like a criminal on the attack.
So your heart gets hardened when you are treated this way
I think we should think
how we run our jails this very present day.

Submitted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written by Suzanna C Chevalier on Easter March 31,2013

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