War Child


Inspired by the book War Child by Emmanuel Jal

I am battling for my life
I’ve got one chance to get it right
If I get it wrong, I’ll lose my life
My kids, my freedom, plus my wife
I’m a war child who represents the struggle
The ones on the corner, all they do is hustle
I’m striving for my GED, so when I come home
I get a nice paying job and live stress free
I’m a war child livin’ out of a cell
A child of God who is stuck in hell
Only time will tell
I hope my options won’t fail


  1. I’m impressed by the urgency effectively conveyed in this piece and hope the poet’s ambitions turn out as hoped.

  2. Powerful piece. I appreciate the rhyme scheme, and repetition of “free minds”. I think it reads more like a spoken word piece than a poem – meaning, its more literal than it is poetic and should be performed for an audience. You could, if you wanted to, extend the metaphor to what it feels like to have a mind that’s not free. What does that feel like? Look like? Sound like? Etc…

  3. Dear DM, I like the way you make a connection with the book War Child. Just as he managed to achieve success, you are working hard to achieve a better life. I hope too that your options won’t fail, and I really admire your determination. I imagine that some days it can be discouraging, but I think if you can write a poem like this, you will reach your goals. Best wishes to you on the way,

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