Teen Poetry Collections

MI FAMILIA

 by a young man in juvenile detention, age 16

I can’t see my family because I’m locked up in here,
Relief, sadness, and hate
that’s what I feel.
Relief is when you have a long day at work
when you spark one.
Relief when I turned myself in.
Sadness is like a lost puppy trying to find his mother,
a puppy whines when he can’t find his mother,
a puppy cries when he can’t find his mother.
Sadness because I won’t be able to see my family for a long time.
Hate is when someone takes something from you,
something that was special to you that got snatched away
when you weren’t looking.
Hate for the friends that took me away from the stuff that I loved
and got me into drugs and gangs.
I loved boxing
and spending time with my family.
When I was boxing,
I didn’t focus on anything but my opponent:
dodging his hits,
focus on the rhythm,
always look at his chest to see where he is going to hit me.
I smell sweat, odor, and pride.
I be boxing with myself in my cell.
I was a pro at boxing,
but my friends were showing me how they were getting money.
My family didn’t have money at all,
My dad was working hard
but he didn’t have enough to pay the rent.
My brother was messing up the love that I had for my family.
Family is love, trust, care,
Family is like a pack of wolves that care for each other.
There’s always a mother that cares for the cubs
while the others go out and get food.
We eat anything we find.
We live in the forest,
we try to surround ourselves with other creatures.
That’s what I look at when I see my family:
a wolfpack.