Over the past year I’ve written about Alonza several times. I’ve had the pleasure of skyping with him many times – a deep and thoughtful man trying to figure out how to begin his life again in a world that caused him pain. We have read frequently the past year what effects are of solitary confinement. Because of what happened to Kalief Browder and his suicide caused by abuse and solitary confinement the law was changed and kids could no longer be held like that. Alonza had just turned 16 and California had just changed the law to try 16 year old kids as adults and he was the first one. He became their poster child/adult. He made it through 13 years but came out in a million tiny pieces he has been struggling to put back together. I’d like to say that today everything is great. I know he wishes it were. But the reality is the same as someone who has come back from war. On the outside everything seems to be okay, but the glue holding the pieces together never really dries. It is fragile and easily broken. He is safer inside his lonely room than facing the world outside.
I hope he someday heals. He’s a special person. He will always have a piece of my heart as I hold a piece of his.
Below the video is a link to other poetry. Below that is the piece Frontline did on him when he was released.