The men you see, 
just files of papers with
assigned numbers and history.
Dangerous and malicious,
self serving and manipulative.
Murderers, drug addicts, rapists.
Thieves who must be demoralized
for your safety. 
The men you see…
But the men I see…
They show me letters of encouragement
written to children who miss
their fathers
wives and girlfriends who mourn 
the absence of their partners.
They are intelligent and caring,
becoming strong
to prove how soft they can be.
Calloused hands with exposed hearts
secretly praying to God, 
whom they begrudgingly and cautiously believe in,
for a way to express love meaningfully,
These men bellow in rage
beat their chests in bravado
howling at the injustices of modern slavery
but yet, when they are given the chance
their eyes narrow
their breathing slows
and an unsteady hand cautiously,
no, bravely, reaches out.
It wants to test life,
is it still cruel?
Must they clamour forever?
Or will one gentle and kind
soul reach half way?
Will they be left to
express feelings the only way allowed,
silently and alone?
Islands once more, or still
The men I see

With Love
Jeff Jeffebelle