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  • February 12th, 2010 | 12:01 AM
Poetry Friday - Poems by incarcerated teens

I'm so proud of the writing my incarcerated teens did with me that I decided to share some of it for Poetry Friday. You can read more about sessions here.

Below are just a few of my favorites from what they did in 10 sessions of us working together. Because they are incarcerated I can't post their names.

Don’t know why nothing goes right.
I try. I try. I try.
But it’s like one of the three little pigs . . .
Devil is the wolf.
I build.
It gets blown down every time.

* * *

I remember the day I would never forget
I remember it like it was yesterday
I remember something I would never get and never say ‘cause I’m not strong enough yet,
but still I stand.

* * *

How Do I Love Thee?
I appreciate what you do for me.
I will always care for you.
I’m grateful to have you in my life.
I’ll always respect you.
I will try to understand you.
Listening to you will be my first priority.

* * *

I remember when I was little and got raped without my consent.
I remember I hurt and I passed out.
I remember I was scared to get hurt.
I remember it went by slow.
I remember. I remember. I remember.

* * *

Looks like a new life, but not for me

* * *

I am a father, a son.
I wonder what life has in store for me.
I hear my family telling me to do good.
I see my son graduating.
I want to be free.
I am a father, a son.

I pretend to hold my son in my arms.
I feel hopeful.
I touch people with my words and make them believe in me.
I worry for my family’s safety.
I cry when I see my son cry for his daddy.
I am a father, a son.

I understand that it is up to me to change.
I say it is time for a change.
I dream the outs and being with my son.
I try to show my son I’m not a failure.
I hope to be home soon.
I am a father, a son.

* * *

Something I can share most people won’t bare
The staff or teacher will say don’t go there
Something I can share some people in here won’t care
They think they know it all inside and out there
Something I can share me I guess
I have a lot to say but some ain’t the best
Something I can share is my family with you
You’ll beat them til their face turns blue
I’m sharing right now my feelings with you
I’m not trying to talk down but I gotta
Let it out and if I can’t do it like this
Then someone please tell me how

Lee Wind has the Poetry Round-up today.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 8 comments — Leave comment )
February 12th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday
Wonderful, powerful, right from the heart and gut. Thanks for sharing. Mary Nida
February 12th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
So powerful and raw. You did some amazing work with them, Susan.
February 12th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Wow. These are all excellent poems. Those teens did great work. =)

I think my favorite is the sixth poem (I am a father, a son). It seems to stand out a lot to me and the emotions it portrays are fabulous.
February 12th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing these wonderful poems, Susan.
February 12th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
These are so powerful. Thanks for sharing them with us, Susan.
February 12th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
from Laura @ Author Amok
I love "Devil is the Wolf." So glad kids have poetry to help them get some distance from and perspective on the hard stuff.
February 13th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Such emotion there mostly written from a place of pain. The place no one likes to go but can't escape from it. I write to let things out and like the last person I too believe if I can't do it that way for me there seems no other way either - so sad.

- Anne McKenna
February 13th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Wow. What an important gift you gave these teens. I hope they find a way to keep writing a new story for themselves. I hope they remember that eventually the wolf loses.
( 8 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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