The Bigger Prison - It's about a Green Card

"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet to the ground"

- Theorode Rosevelt -

Living in the United States without a Creen Card is a real prison.
Article by: Woodring Saint Preux

No matter how bad it is at home, no matter how expensive life is, it's a hard thing to live with.

I wrote this poem back in 1997... before today, I never really shared it with anyone outside of my family... and If I did, I never really explained it.

I wrote it because I was living in the United States without a green card.

After 16 long years I finaly got to smell the Haitian Air once again. Because I left there since I was 14 years old, I can't begin to tell you how important the little things were when I saw them again.

The hardest part to swallow was the fact that most of the people who were dear to me passed away before I could see them.

Today, I dedicate this poem in their memory...

  • Gran' Adrienne, my only grandmother
  • Gess (Gesner Paul), The best cook in all of Hinche, Haiti
  • Marainne Lolotte, my father's sister who never stopped giving until the day she died.


I committed no crime, yet, I'm a prisoner
I was never convicted, yet, I'm in jail
Real prisoners get to see their family members
Though trough thick glass, It must feel good

I'm stuck in here with mom, dad, and a brother
I haven't seen my the rest in years
They cannot come to visit me
The warden will not let me out

Life sometimes has invisible bars
Much stronger than the real ones
The tool needed to escape, paper thin
It is not easy to find, hard to believe

Immorality is the key, the quick way out
I can't do that, I'm too proud of myself
I may get to a point were I'll have to drop it
Live with the shame, live free

Sometimes, I cry myself to sleep
Someone dear to me has died
I can't even go the funeral
I'm a prisoner in life's penitentiary

The yard is quite big, I can move around
There are many advantages for all inmates
I can't go home, that's my biggest concern
A man has to do what a man has to do

The parole board has me on a waiting list
The list is as long as never
I hope to be free someday
Free to go wherever I please, home

Grandma promised to live until she sees me again
She is very sick and I afraid to call her
Why must life be so cruel to some
I didn't even choose to be a prisoner

I live in a constant lie
So deep that I forget the truth
What's the truth anyway
If it sounds good to you, it is true

© 1997 Woodring Saint Preux

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All Comments (18)

Doudou says...

Hey David, IF YOU GET THIS MESSAGE, EMAIL ME AT stgRandy01 [at] it's an old friend.

hope to hear from

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Topic says...

as unbelievable and unfair that may appear it is the sad reality of thousands immigrants *(mostly haitians and spanish immigrants).

..everyday living behind bars of fear and hope...

afraid of being caught, and eventually be sent home..where most of the time isn't the place they'd want to be right now....

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Topic says...

I was astonished after reading the poem. Although I knew how the immigration policies of this country were hard on immigrants.

It felt even more difficult to digest the cruelty and total disrespect for Haitian struggling to get a green card in this country.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts through poetry.

Manes Pierre

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Topic says...

Felicitations mon cher.
Tu as montre tes sentiments envers ta famille, ton pays, ta nationalite, ton sang, ta couleur et ton rang social.


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Topic says...

It hurts me badly when i read your poem it touches my heart deeply.

I can not say that i suffer the same thing but i know how hard it feels when you want to see your family and you can't do it. There's only one way to solve that problem and it is to let it be in God hands and He'll do the rest for

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Topic says...

WOW, Oh my God!!!!!!
That is all I could say. Did you read?

I cried reading your poem. I believe even to people such as my self as a little girl waiting for my father to okey my return back to my home land Haiti.

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Topic says...

This Poems tauch me

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Topic says...

There are a lot of people going through this right now. I really appreciate the poem it is heart felt.

We has haitian people need to learn how to help each other.

Once you received your green card what did you do for the next person, what information did you share with the next person to prevent them from going through the same thing you did.

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Topic says...

The poem realy touches me, I am still in that green card jail and what is killing me inside, is that after four years of college in Haiti, I find my self stock in this contry earning minimum wage and not even able to go back to school to finish my major or to start another one, I won't even talk about helping my family in Haiti.

I feel lost but afraid to go back home. It has been fve years since I left home, I miss home so much with all the memories.

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Topic says...

to my friend judy i worry about you i hope you are able to have a strong mind.

we thought you would be home by now. my friend, your brother is worried we have finally made contact through another, it is good to see his face after all this time. a friend of ours in jacksonville arranged our reunion.

i hope you get to leave soon i'm trying to help him, i 'm really not happy about his situation i cannot sleep at night.

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