Inner Strength


As a product of his environment,
He could not read nor write,
Designed and programmed for destruction,
Thoughts of suicide haunted him at night.

As a product of his environment.
Incarcerated overnight
Afraid to give up, he decided to fight

Six years later a GED, Paralegal diploma and
An Associate’s Degree in Business Management
He found life.

As a product of his environment
He took flight.


  1. I love the use of repetition to make a nuanced and strong point.

  2. Eric Coffin-Gould says

    The last lines are beautiful – simple, but excellently done and powerful.

  3. Andrea Ruggirello says

    So many years are summarized succinctly in the penultimate stanza. Then the repetition in the last stanza really hits home. I really like the pivot of that last line.

  4. Allyson Booth says

    I love how this poem starts with that bureaucratic idea of the “product of his environment” but then takes it in another, unexpected direction! Inspirational!

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