These girls in juvie say they know how to fight
That they can do everything
That they have tricks you don’t have
That the street is just messing around
-They don’t know what the street is-
Living in the street is risking you will get beat up
It’s not having a roof over your head
It’s enduring big storms and cold
It’s going hungry
It’s finding friends who only introduce you to bad things
It’s ending up in prison or the hospital –with luck-
It’s having to obey your click’s leader
Instead of your mom and dad
It’s exposing your self to murder and rape
It’s not having comfort from anyone
These girls are proud to say they are from the streets
Because they don’t know what it is like to grow up there.
The streets are nothing great,
It’s the worst thing that can happen to you.
If I would have known what the street was about
I wouldn’t have chosen it.
But this is my path…
Published by: Olivia
This poem was written by a young woman who was released 10 months ago. Last year, she published various poems in Hard Lessons, (“Your Terrible Daughter,” “The Only Lost Battle,” “So That You Don’t Know,” and “I Belong to a World of Solitude”) and now she lives with her dad and aunt and studying. She keeps in touch, she keeps writing, and she keeps impressing me with her simple and wise verses.
A While Ago
Camerón, 16 years old
A while ago now the sun hid itself
A while ago I stopped loving
A while ago I stopped crying
A while ago I stopped feeling
A while ago I stopped believing that love exists.
A while ago I stopped having a mother
A while ago I stopped having a father
A while ago I stopped having a sister
A while ago I exchanged my heart for a stone
A while ago I left behind that stuipid girl
That’s why I am who I am.
I am the picture, the painting,
Of all those people who one day broke my soul and lied to me.
It’s all I did.
But now I walk proudly,
Because everything in this life is trial and error.
Trial and error.
And I already made my mistakes.