I Was Doing Time, Time Was Not Doing Me

Remembering Darrell Billy Parks
By Trena Parks

I was doing time, time was not doing me . . .

I accepted my sentence, an unfair sentence
For an accidental murder while crazed on coke
The judge didn’t hear my cry for help
He only saw my black skin
And sentenced me to 100 years in Trenton State Prison

I was doing time, time was not doing me . . .

I joined the prison choir
And when my sister visited, we’d sit and laugh
About church and bible school
And the time I tried to cross the barrier
At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
We’d throw basement parties while dad was at work
Then we’d call the police to clear the crowd
We had so much fun!
We had so much fun!

I was doing time, time was not doing me . . .

The last time I spoke with my sister
She told me that the food box I ordered
Should be arriving soon
But “soon” would never come for me
Covid came for me instead

“CO, CO Parks can’t breathe!”
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe
Covid and that judge
Handed me two death sentences

I know how much my family loves me
Although we never said goodbye
The nurse said they were praying for me
And a tear fell from my eye
I went “The Last Mile of the Way”
As I slowly slipped away


Darrell Billy Parks died of Covid-19 on April 23, 2020. He was 62.