Loevy & Loevy is celebrating National Poetry Month this year by recognizing poets who are currently or formerly behind bars. For many incarcerated people, poetry serves as an important creative outlet, one where many derive strength. At Loevy & Loevy, we are lucky to work with a number of artists, including many poets, and are honored to showcase their work.
If you are a current or former client of Loevy & Loevy and would like your poetry to be highlighted, please reach out and we will include your works.
John Horton was exonerated in 2017 after serving more than 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. In 2018, a judge granted John his Certificate of Innocence. Two of John’s poems are below, titled “Send Me an Angel” and “How would you feel?”. The transcriptions are by John, with original images of the handwritten poems included as well.
SEND ME AN ANGEL
My sister use to always say
“BABY, THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE”
She unexpectedly passed away as Alzheimer’s
Took my mother’s memory of me
My biggest fans, my favorite girls
On these tears each night I strangle
Lost and confused in this lonely world
Lord could you send me an angel
I’m not a selfish man and
I know there’s others you must attend
I’m only asking for an angel Lord
Because I struggle to believe again
So please, Send me an Angel
To help me find my way,
To love my sister back to life
To give my momma a message when I pray
Cause at 17 they gave me life
I was broken by the load to bear
And those who knew I was innocent
By my side they weren’t there
A hurtful part of my reality
Always thought myself to be a good friend
Even better of a family member
Guess they thought my road had seen its end
My baby girls they suffer too
Their father writes from a prison cell
I want to tell them it’ll be okay
But how can I while living in hell
I truly love my children
Dreams of together where we roam
Please God, don’t let me die here
Touch a heart and send me home
My mother and sister I truly miss
For my daughters and grandson I live
With these lingering words, I hope
A chance with my bride to be,… You’ll give
23 years a tiresome journey
Opening up in this poem a real task
I’m praying you’ll “Send me an Angel”
For those mentioned in this poem, I ask
Written by John Horton
How would you feel?
How would you feel if they gave you life, sentencing you to die in this place,
how would you feel if you were absent of blame, and your faith began fleeting with little trace?
How would you feel if they all turned away, no letters, no visits, no one to call home to,
how would you feel if you simply needed a hug, and there was no one in your life to embrace you?
How would you feel if you were still alive, yet they treated you as if you were dead,
how would you feel if you were so alone, all that keeps you are the voices in your head?
How would you feel if when reaching for love, you discovered love to be your lonely fate,
how would you feel if all you once believed, would be forgotten or by your side it won’t wait?
How would you feel to be forced to imagine death, the thought of you lying there bleeding,
how would you feel to learn there’s worse, the emotional kind that happens while breathing?
How would you feel if a miscarriage of justice stood right where you are and took your place,
how would you feel to physically attend your own funeral, I did that for 23 years and five months in this case.
Written by John Horton