we wore blue


No, no, please go on. I’m listening.  I’m trying to listen.  I’m just going to get some more coffee.

The door is open. I had to make my Christmas wreath out of toilet paper rolls, and I know it’s biased, but I think it looked just as good.  You know those scenes in movies where the incarcerated person looks at their stuffed animal made of sheet scraps and body hair and kisses it like it’s beautiful? I wonder if I remember my wreath as beautiful because of similar blinders.

It sounds like you’ve been doing as well as can be.  I am glad.

The door is still open. It could shut any second now.

You know if you need anything, you can just ask.  I don’t have that much going on.  I simplified a lot last year.

The door is still open. It could shut any second now.

The only imperative on my whole agenda this week is grocery shopping.  A girl’s gotta eat.

A girl’s gotta eat. I have to go.  I can’t skip again this week.  I can’t live off of Snickers Bars just because they’re easy to pick.  I used to do this.  I can do this.  Buy just three things and leave.


Oh! I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to block your way.  I guess I got distracted by the flowers.

Yellow. Red. Magenta. Green. I can touch them if I want. I am allowed to touch them. Buy it.  Reach for it. It’s okay. It’s okay.  Maybe they have sunflowers, like the postcard by VanGogh that I taped to my locker until I had to trade it for a chance at being able to wash my sheets.

 Oh! I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to block your way.

He bumped me. It wasn’t on purpose.  The contact doesn’t mean anything about how safe I am.  I am safe. This is a grocery store. I am safe.  Go buy some baby carrots.


I wonder how much of this food just rots in here.  I wonder if people know how hungry I was some days.  I wonder if people know how many girls I saw cry themselves to sleep in hunger.  I wonder if they know how much of the food they bought for me went to other people because I could handle the hunger better than the sobbing of friends.  I was 130lbs when I came home. I was 110lbs when I arrived in prison after my time in county jail.  I am 160lbs right now.   My stretchmarks look like bars, too. Maybe I should write about that.  Don’t write about that.  Don’t buy a Snickers.  Just leave.

Yep, just a handful of things.  A quick errand, indeed.

I’ve been here for two hours, lady.  She isn’t being unkind.  She doesn’t know.  Smile.  Keep smiling.

Thank you! Have a happy Wednesday!

I don’t even know how much I paid for this stuff.  I forgot to look at the money marks again.  Oh no. I can’t request an Uber.  My eyes are doing that thing where they don’t understand how to use the smart phone.  It’s probably my brain, not my eyes.  Take a deep breath. I overdid, is all.  I can walk from here.


Yes, it is a beautiful day for a walk!  I mean, look at that sky.  Have a good one!

Just look.  It’s the sky.  It’s okay to stop walking.  No one is watching.  They can’t hurt me, even if they are.  They aren’t allowed to take away my things here.  They aren’t allowed to punish my friends. 


Stop. Focus.  Don’t think about the restricted and controlled sources of news and information.  Don’t think about newspapers with articles cut out. 

Oh, hey, neighbor!

He won’t stop jiggling his keys. Why is he doing that? Why would he do something so meanhearted?  He’s not being mean. He doesn’t know.

It sounds like you’ve been doing as well as can be.  I am glad. Not much going on here.  I had a late start to the day, went grocery shopping for a thing or two, and took a nice long walk back.  Now I think it’s naptime.

His keys are going to make me puke. Don’t puke.  What am I going to puke up anyway?  I forgot to eat again and all I bought are chives and heavy cream because I panicked. 

There’s a Snickers bar in the fridge.

Haha, yeah.  This is the life.  Have a happy Wednesday!


I’ve been home from prison twice as long as I was in, but when freedom itself a trigger, life can get a little complicated.  It isn’t everyday, but it’s some days, and those days can really play havoc on the scheduling for a week.  The more time that passes, the less comfortable I feel explaining to those around me when I am struggling.  It’s easier to delete facebook, ignore text messages, cancel events– and let it pass.

Because eventually, like all things, even the chunky bits of expired trauma pass right by.  Sometimes it just takes a Wednesday, sometimes it takes 8 Wednesdays.

Wednesdays are cornbeef and hash days.

This year, I am trying to put myself back on a schedule– which for me means pushing through the days where I still feel like I’m in my prison blues.  It’s a lot of hope to fit into a tiny year, but hope is a good thing.

Maybe the best thing.

What are your hopes for this year?
♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Ra Avis is the author of Sack Nasty: Prison Poetry and the girl behind the dinosaur at Rarasaur.com. She is a once-upon-a-time inmate, a reluctantly-optimistic widow, and an exponential storyteller.

Here are some ways to support or get involved in what happens here:
1 – leave a comment even if it’s just a smile
2 – let me mail or email you happy things
3 – reach out or share freely
4 – buy my book
5 – donate in any amount 

And if all you can do is read, please know that it means the most.
You and your story are welcome here, and you are loved.

48 thoughts on “we wore blue

      1. Yes, exactly so. There’s so many little memories– good and bad.

        As to the year, as long as it filled with goodness, I won’t be bothered if everything I want doesn’t fit. There’s always next year for that. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Di. It’s embarrassing to be tired after doing so little, but it’s because so much goes on in my head, haha. 🙂 It really does feel like a movie playing in the background of my actual life.


  1. You will get through this. Through as many blue-wearing Wednesdays as the year contains. Regardless of the number, or how many things you buy at the shops, you are magnificent. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *A big hug* Happy New Year. Yes, it’s going to be a fabulous year. The worst is behind you. It’s going to be a frightfully wonderful year. You should know that you are a huge inspiration to me. My hope for this year is to get fully healthy. It’s been a long six years of hammering. And a year seems tiny to me too. But we’ll pull through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope is the best thing. Baby step. Big step. & It’s okay to slow down. It helps the healing. & In my eyes you still have superpowers. Example? A book is about to fly off of the shelves. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can not even begin to wrap my head around what your experiences were like and how each day is still colored by those experiences. You are strong but you need to take care of YOU so please do. No excuses. Make yourself a priority. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I flipped open my daily inspiration book to a random page – here was the quote. “Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now.” – from the song, “Suite – Judy Blue Eyes” by Stephen Stills. Seemed good to share – thinking of you. (hugs)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My hopes for 2018 is to be happy in a job with flexible hours and make enough money to keep things running smoothly, and have enough time to still enjoy. 2017 wasn’t so great for me. I hope, and feel that 2018 will be much better. That said….last evening I spent silently sobbing…because the job I was supposed to begin on the 3rd and been pushed out to the 18th and even that’s not a solid date. So what to do…find something in the meantime….wait….looking. I so want to be done with this anxiety. I just want things to get normal. Change is so difficult for me anyway, which is why I stayed way longer than I should have in a job where I was unhappy. Now my period of transition has been extended. More anxiety, time without pay, feelings of worthlessness, holding on….. It makes me so sad to know that you struggle. I wish everything went smoothly for us all. I wish you were closer sweet Ra. I would shop with you…for you if you wanted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Because eventually, like all things, even the chunky bits of expired trauma pass right by.”

    May I share this brilliant statement with my PTSD clients?

    Thanks for sharing your life…such an inspiration but you are not to take that as responsibility…just stating my facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of my hopes for 2018 is to join you and perhaps a few others for a meal out. Even that, though, would be a challenge for me. I’m up for that challenge, as well as those I listed in my resolutions post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be lovely! If you’re ever up in Long Beach, give me a call. 🙂 Or maybe we can set something up– we should coordinate for a poetry reading and maybe you can read some of your work!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thud. ❤ You will do this … You are doing this. No doubt in my mind. In the meantime, please keep explaining the struggle. So many are listening.

    Best advice I've heard this year: "Push the reset button every night and do the best you can the next day."
    ~ Abraham Hicks

    Happy 2018.



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