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Today, I had a visit from my momma and little bro. Upon entering the unit at the front, she went into her normal motion she’s done for the last 10 ½ years. After she got all the way to the front and got ready to get coins to get her baby some food to eat while she visited him. At the last minute, she was informed that the coin machine was broken. Mean while, I sat in the visitation room anticipating the visit after more than a year, eager and worry working my nerves. I was hoping they would make it in safe without any of the last minute depriving tricks of the system. I shifted in the small box, side to side and prayed everything would be all good. I wanted to see my momma.

There was so much to talk about simply without words, just emotions. She told me within a split second of grabbing the phone, ‘baby, the machines broke and I can’t get coins to buy you food’. It’s been a lifetime, given the relationship I have with my momma, we simply took advantage of our visits. To that affect, so much has happend, I thought. My cousin, her nephew was shot. My little brother, her son was also hurt and my cousin died in his arms. I lost my final appeal and I understand what may lay ahead. I didn’t see grief in my Queens eyes, I saw caring concern - not for herself, but for me. After a brief stare down of me seeing that frustrated look, I’ve known all my life, a simple smirk from me broke the hidden sadness, and I finally said ‘it’s cool, momma, that don’t seem that bad given the shit we’ve just been through these last few months’.

July 11, 2021

Words by TEDDERICK BATISTE

Photography by TEXAS LETTERS

Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas

10 years in solitary / ad seg

Tedderick

BATISTE

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TEDDERICK BATISTE