Words on a Canvas 

It’s hard for a “free folks” (as our loved ones like to call them) to understand the prison wife world. Why we wait? What is life like being with someone in prison where everything is monitored (emails, calls, visits, etc.)? All the roadblocks, emotions, and odds stacked against a prison wife on a daily basis, and not to mention: the stigma. The stigma of being a prison wife is something that haunts us everyday. From the super market, to the bars and restaurants we go out to, being a prison wife makes us look like we are “desperate”, “have little to no self-esteem,” or we are “ugly” and “unintelligent.” Well I can promise you most of us are far from it. We love our men with a crazy, firey fierceness that rivals that of an alpha she-wolf. Where others break down from weakness, there is a fire in our eyes that makes us stand tall and take any and all hits and obstacles throw our way.

One amazing author bringing the prison wife world to the forefront is Nicole Richardson. Her journey from before and during incarceration encapsulates every single emotion a prison wife may face. She was brave and vulnerable enough to put her feelings into words and poems, just like a master artist would put brush strokes to a canvas. I applaud her courage and I can’t thank her enough for putting all her poems together in an E-book called Broken Silence. She even went a step further and wrote a poem specifically for me and M. I read M one of my favorite poems by her titled “Forever” this past Valentine’s Day and I recorded it for her. She loved the phrase that we use, “You’re the other half of my sky,” that we stole from the first book we ever read together as a couple, The Light Between Oceans. Below, you will find her poem for M and I, a preview of her book, and a link to Amazon where you can purchase the book online. She is a master, whose words have touched thousands of souls across this country and even abroad. Thank you Nicole, for shattering the stigma with the hopes to educate the masses of what it’s like to live everyday as a prison wife.

For Angela

Have you ever woken up early and watched the sunrise

Have you ever fed your eyes

With the most glorious beauty in all of creation

Has your heart ever lept with the revelation

That this beauty, this perspective, this point of view

Has only been revealed to you

Because that is your sky

That is your stroke of light

Breaking through the dark quiet of the night

And is filling your senses

With the relentless


Of pinks and orange and golden hues

Has beauty like that ever emboldened you

To take on another day anew

Like you had never seen the ugly that’s in this world?

Have you ever watched a storm unfurl

And basked in the glory of its magnificence

Have you ever sat in wonder at the brilliance

Of the lightning lighting up the night in a flash

There for a second, then gone that fast?

Have you ever watched the clouds give chase

To each other as they race

Across the vast expanse of the atmosphere

Have you ever thought that you could maybe hear

Their wispy laughter being carried on the breeze

Have you ever been brought to your knees

With the conviction that there must be some higher power

Because every day, every hour

Could not be painted so masterfully across the canvas

It can’t all be left to chance

Or circumstance

The stars bright, the clouds white, the skies blue.

That’s the beauty I see when I look at you

You are the sun rising in my east and setting in my west

You are the glow from the moon at night singing me to rest

In the comfort of the presence

Of your mere existence

In the universe.

No choirs song, no poets verse

Could ever be able to fully convey

The colors, the joys you bring to my every day

Just because you are in my life

Like the sun is to the moon like husband is to wife

I only reflect the brilliant splendor of your shine

How blessed that the brightest star in the sky is mine

No, not the brightest star

That is far

Too small a comparison

You are all I see and even past the horizon

You are my sky.

You are my reason why

To keep living

You keep giving

Me more love, more beauty with every earth’s rotation

You are the jubilation

Of the morning bird’s song

You are the long

Awaited sunrise at the end of the longest nights

Of my life.

I need no earthly stone to be certain

For your love shines brighter than the diamonds on the velvet curtain

In which they are set

In their facets

On the golden rings of saturn and the universe in orbit

I gladly forfeit

My heart to be pulled to revolve around whatever space

This cosmos places


You are my sky blue

My cleansing fall of rain

The northstar that remains

Constant in the ever changes chaos from day to day

You are every golden ray

Of sunshine

That warms me from the winters cold.

The strong comforting hold

In your arms

Carries me like the charms

Of a flowers scent in the fullness of spring

You, my darling are the most beautiful thing that I know.

You glow

With the radiance of every celestial light

But you are too bright

You are too perfect for the world to contain

You cannot remain

Confined to the imperfect confines of this world

That is only jealous of your splendor

One day I will only be able to remember

Your beauty in photographs

The warm summer winds of your laughter

Can only be replayed in recordings where I captured

It’s glorious sound

Like a thundercloud

Rumbling to sky from ground

To show its power

One heartbreaking hour

I will sit

Watching my sun set for the final time

I will reach out to feel your final rays of warmth on my skin

As the clouds begin

To overtake you in their darkness

As you take your final bow and rest

In the shadows of the night

My eyes clouded, strain to see the final sight

Of your light

As it casts its multicolored streaks

Above and through the mountain peaks

That we couldn’t climb

At the closing of our time

I am convinced that I’m

More loved, more blessed with the revelation

Of joy than any other woman since the dawn of creation

Has ever known

For you have shown me

Colors not yet labeled on the spectrum

You’ve sung me to sleep with the hum

Of lullabies from the wind escaping the doldrums

Of my life before you

The sky will never be as blue

Will never have hues so bright in my eyes

After my sky

Has been taken back to his own

Where still our love will be shown

Because it is a power that cannot be harnessed

For you will be the star shining brightest in the darkness of the night

Such as you are the light

In this darkened world

For which you my love, are far too wonderful


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