Teen Poetry Collections

Totem Pole

by a young man, age 15

My mistakes and what happened
Reasons why I’m here
Thinking about the past to the present
Trying to figure out how it began
All the ends
Trying to figure out how its going to end

My dad’s stuck in prison for life without parole
My mom is back on drugs
My brothers are in foster care
I’ve been homeless for three years

I look at the same totem pole evey day
I think about the stories I’ve heard
There’s a man and a woman
Back to back
They have each other’s backs no matter what situation they go through

None of my family has each other’s back
We always go against each other
I don’t get it
I wish my family had each other’s back
I can’t go a single day without being locked up or chased down

I live behind the totem pole
In a park
It’s like a black hole
You can’t ever leave it
There’s no way out
Stuck there till the end
I’ve watched people get hurt, die, never leave
I hear stories about people who spend their lives there

I keep watch over everyone that lives there
All the natives
Making sure no one defaces the totem pole
Now that I’m not there everything gets bad
When I’m not there somebody gets hurt

My spirit animal is a black wolf
I have dark sides
That people don’t see
My black outs
Everywhere I go there’s life and death
There’s always a shadow on me stopping me from seeing the light
Hopefully the shadow will arise so I can see the light