Teen Poetry Collections


 by a young man in juvenile detention, age 16

I am thinking about going home.
Home is watching my little brother and sister,
it’s playing games, it’s cooking.
Home feels like
It don’t feel like juvenile,
It don’t.
Home feels like sleeping,
more comfortable than the beds here.
Home is freedom,
I get to go outside and come back in.
I get to help my little brother and sister.
I be talking more at home.
I be going outside playing basketball with friends.
You don’t get to have friends in your cell here.
Home feels like outside.
I see nothing:
just walls, basketball court, no roof.
Home is where I get to have fun.
I tell myself: go outside, go outside,
have hella fun, come back whenever you want.
I don’t feel the same way here.
Here is hell,
I just smell toilets,
I just look at white.
I don’t see anything but my wall
& my book.
The only thing I see outside is dirty stuff,
dirty grass, trees with no leaves, fences,
a building covering the city.
I just see two doors, one bathroom, here, the stairs.
When I’m at home,
I be seeing good stuff, clean stuff,
my room, my house,
my living room,
I see my mom’s face.