Pongo Project Journal

Sharing stories of our work with teens
Jul 15
Love Is a Useless Puppy

Sometimes we think that… We can make someone love us if only we love them enough, if only we give them more and more power over us, if only we measure our love by how much we hurt. This is the poetry of heartache. And this is my personal reading of the poetry that follows, the latest winner of the Pongo Poetry Prize. (Following the winning poem, there are links to three great poems that received Honorable Mention.)

What It Really Is
by a young woman, age 16


I am a lonely, lost pit-bull.
Confused, hurt,
And nowhere to go.
Last time I saw you, we were at the house.
All I could smell - weed.
All I could see - cocaine.
You gave me so much attention!
This gave me a sweet taste in my mouth.
Then you left and haven't come back.
It's been over three months,
I'm mad,
I have rage and anger.
I'm also alone and hurt.
The only thing you'll ever hear from me is whining.
Other than that I'm silent.
It's because I miss you.
I'm not anything without you.
I am a lonely, lost pit-bull -
Confused, hurt, and have nowhere to go.

What It Really Is

All I can hear is screaming.
That's all I can ever hear.
It never stops.
All I can see is fist and blood.
That's all I ever feel.
You threw me out,
Beat me, and made me feel useless.
You smell like sweat and cologne.
When you hit me, I taste blood.
I didn't do anything.
So why did you do this to me?

You Said

You always said you loved me
And that you would never leave me.
You said those exact words
Every day.
You said you wouldn't hurt me,
But the thing is you treated me like an animal -
That's not me!
Even though you said what you said,
You still left me.
Even if you meant what you said,
You still hurt me.
When you said you really didn't love me,
And you did what you did,
You put silence in my mind.
So now I don't have anything else to say,
You gave me away like a useless little puppy.
Now, all I can see is you.
All I can smell is you.
All I can hear is your voice.
The useless puppy is looking for you.

Honorable Mention, July 2010
Just Imagine
Romantic Rain