Teen Poetry Collections


 by a young woman in juvenile detention, age 14

I’m thinking about my past,
and how I’m supposed to get out of here.
Just two years ago, I got jumped into a gang.
I started smoking weed,
taking drugs.
I became more violent.
I shot two people.
My mom tried to help me get out of it,
help stop my addiction.
I couldn’t,
so I ran away.
I ran away into another gang,
and they tried to kill me.
So I stopped going outside.
That’s when I stopped going to school
and started fighting more
and selling drugs.
I’m in here now
and I don’t know when I’m getting out.
I think about my mom a lot
and what she’d try to tell me.
Thank you, Mom, for being there
when no one else was.
I appreciate everything you do for me,
I want to respect you more.
Thinking of my Mom
is like God watching me all the time.
I can hear her voice sometimes,
a voice like an angel,
smelling like flowers,
tasting like spam musubi.
All I see is a shadow
sitting right next to me.
I wish I could take it all back,
but I can’t because it’s my past.
My past is hell,
smelling like flames.
I wish that my future won’t be like my past
and that I’ll have a new beginning.
I see stars in my new beginning,
it smells like fresh laundry,
tastes like chocolate.
It looks like the universe.