Exceeded Doubt

By MR

When they said I couldn’t, I did…

When they said I wasn’t enough, I became more than what they expected…

When they said it was over, I told them this is just the beginning…

When they told me I had potential, I showed them absolute greatness…

Just when they started to believe, I was already years into believing in myself…

Because they expectations never mattered enough to stop my dreams from becoming the very reality I’ve created…

So when they ask how you done it, smile and tell “them” that’s for you to know, and for them to find out.

On the Same Page

By JA

When I read, I’m alive not dead

The words tell me so much I’ve read

On the page, I’ve met the other travelers

On the page, I’ve been to the favelas

On the page, I’ve felt heartbreak, elation, scorn

I read to learn, move on

When I read, I feel alive, not dread

When I read I know where to head

When I meet you on the page, I smile, nod head in acknowledgement

When I write I use plenty emotion

My words express whatever mood I’m in

I want you to understand my position, my thoughts

Hear me out let me in on this paper

My pen will talk

I write to tell you what’s inside

When I write, I feel, know I’m alive

When I write, you know my objections, you honor my war cries

When you meet me on the page, you also might smile

The Tears I Cry

By DWS

Look in my eyes
& you’ll see the tears I cry

As I lie back on my bed
The vivid memories of my family
& I flow through my head, I’ll be a liar
If I say, I didn’t see this coming

Growing up in the city of D.C
Wasn’t always peaches & cream for me
I was always told by many I’m worthless
& would never amount to anything

Many nights I’ve set in the dark
Wondering if there was someone
There who could heal my broken heart.

My father was never there
So my mother had to do it alone
Struggling just to make ends meet
Raising 6 kids in a 3 bedroom home
To see my mother do this taught me that
Women are very strong, & I praise her
Every day for not leaving me alone

That’s why it hurt me
Because I never got the chance to truly thank her
& say goodbye because I was sitting in an 8.10 cell
When she died, just the thought of it
Brings tears to my eyes

Now look at me & tell me
Can you see the tears I cry

The people I thought loved me
1 by 1 all started to dissipate
& I realize they were never there for love
It was just the material things & again I find myself
Feeling alone like I once did before

& I yearn for my heart to be healed once more
But the biggest pain of all makes
Me feel ashamed & weak so much so
That I catch myself crying in my sleep
& that’s knowing I’ve abandoned
My children as my father did &
Becoming him was something I never
Thought I’ll be. Wondering will they
Hate me like I hated him makes
Me shiver in fear from limb to limb

The black white walls of my cell
Turns into a movie screen
& the memories of my past become
My mental pain

I start to feel my eyes water
& then the tears flow
& I think to myself
When will my pain go
Inshallah it’s soon
But, I have to remain patient
Until I come to know

Although people see me smile
& laugh a lot
I often wonder if they can also
Look at me & see

The Tears I Cry

Smile

By GD

I was still a juvenile and convicted as a child
Though sentenced as an adult
But still I smile…
I think about my reality and realize just how real it is
Then I laugh….
I don’t laugh because it’s funny
But because its “funny” how a young black man could
So easily succumb to his environment
But still I grow…
I’ve come to know many things, dreamed many dreams
All while living a nightmare
But still I ponder…
I’ve created wonderful things once I considered my intellect
As a key to unlock the box my mind’s been in for years
So now I know….
Though life has its adversities, and sometimes it can
Be a tremendous burden
I still got to walk that extra mile
Even if my feet are hurting
So, I’ll continue to smile….

Growth

By SU

My vision was obscured from
the blood in my eyes.
So, I used that to write my notes
down in red, I transcribed…
Yet I’m alive, heart almost numb,
seeking an escape route from this
oppression and feelings of opprobrium…
For he or she who has no reform is lost,
being acumen has no real cost.
Striving, living, possibly
and hopefully forgiven…
I stood alone, lonely,
the phonies had so much acrimony…
That alone made me strong
knowing that obligation was to
the most high…growth.