Prisoner of the Drug War Voices



For all the times . . .

By Gary Cates, Prisoner of the Drug War

For all the times I missed,
a Christmas or a birthday gift.
For all the times you felt let down,
when I just couldn't be around.
For all the times I couldn't call,
or take you and friends to the mall.
For all the times I couldn't write,
or wasn't there for a kiss good night.
For all the times you cried,
I wasn't there when your puppy died.
For all the times you needed to talk,
or maybe just go for a walk.
For all the times I wasn't there,
and when you thought I didn't care;
To compliment you on your grades,
or things in school that you made;
To say good-bye as you left for school,
thinking that your dad was cool;
To take you to the park to play,
to be with you every day;
To teach you to play a guitar,
or help you tinker on your car;
To laugh and play and win,
or lose and come back to play again.
For all the promises not kept,
for all the times I knew you wept;
For all the times we missed,
for all the times you needed a kiss.
You had to grow up all alone,
I tried to raise you on the phone.
And now for the time you needed me most,
when you started using dope.
I wasn't there to talk you down,
or pick up your body off the ground.
I wasn't there to even weep,
or pray to God your soul to keep.
I wasn't there to say good-bye;
I just sat in my prison cell and cried.
All for a crime I never knew,
would take me away from you.
All for a crime I couldn't see,
would take you away from me.

Good-bye, my son.
Walker Cates, June 6, 1979 ­ May 12, 1997



The Sound

By Mary Ames, Prisoner of the Drug War

Do you know the sound of heartbreak?
A mother's and a son's?
It's a sound so much worse than the cry
Of a war that wasn't won.
Or the sound of a deer, being shot with a gun.
It's a cold and empty sound,
As silent as a grave below the ground.
It's in every prison across the land,
A sound never heard by any man,
Unless he's the son who can't reach out,
And touch his mother's hand.
A sound never heard by any woman,
Unless she's the mother who knows it will be years,
Before they can be with one another . . .


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