Teen Poetry Collections

Dear Mom

by a young woman, age 16

I just thought you should know that life is hard—I’ve seen a lot:
murders, love like grandma’s peanut butter pancakes, hate like my parents’ addiction and absence, my siblings tormenting me because I have a different dad
(theirs sent money, mine disappeared)

I’m loud, but it’s a mask
On the inside I’m quiet
But I’m making sure I’m seen and heard

I just thought you should know that your actions make me hate you, everything you made me see—it made me think you didn’t care:
taking me to drug houses, letting people do what they wanted to me so you could score

I’m going to be more than you were
I’m going to make you proud of me

I just thought you should know that I love you and that the pain that you caused taught me a lesson—about how to treat my children:
I’ll never do to them what you did to me

I’m going to help them succeed