New Home


I finally made it here, as sweat fills my hands.
There’re cuffs on my wrist, ankle & a chain wrapped around
my belly, man.

I look around on the bus, as it pulls through the steel gate.
Most of the guys are anxious & just can’t seem to wait.

Me, I wish the bus would sit right here & never enter,
I began also to think to myself, why did I pull that trigger?

Well it’s too late to think of the past—My only…
choice is to live here & survive like a man.

Whatever that is, I really don’t know.
I’ve heard so many stories on how things could go.

I’m in a bad position as it all sinks in.
But, maybe I can turn this negative into a positive.

I’m 19 with 10 years, here to grow.
If I practice on bad behaviors, it will only make things go slow.

As I stepped off the bus in this, new world of life,
I need to make a decision to carry books or a knife?

They process me in, after they remove all the iron
And my body feels so drained, weary, and tired

Each man got towel, blanket, sheets, and a mattress as well.
And was taken to our New Homes which now was a prison cell.

As I entered my unit I became very aware, for
it seemed every pair of eyes turned to me and stared.

#127 was my cell number, I stepped inside
to make up my bed, for my first night here of slumber.

I laid in bed to free my mind for this mental fight,
which I knew would last the next 10 years of my life.


  1. Reid Baron says:

    I know you will be equal to the task.

  2. I really enjoyed this poem. It’s a great draft with good rhythm and a strong voice.If you wanted to work on it some more, you could tighten it up a little, maybe “19 with 10 years to grow / getting it wrong could make it go slow” and “as I stepped off the bus to my new world and life / what do I carry: a book or a knife?” As it is though, it’s really nice. I just like to mess around. Thank you!

  3. Raia and Alice says:

    This was a very interesting and well written. We also enjoyed how descriptive and detailed it was.

  4. This poem was really powerful. I loved how you described the thoughts going through your head. The rhyming and pacing of the poem kind of made it seem like a rap and I really enjoyed that. The last line of the poem has resonated with me and I appreciated that you shared your experiences with me.
    – Maya E.

  5. This poem was very thoughtful. I liked when you used rhymes and alliteration to show your emotions.

  6. I like how you expressed your feelings and thoughts along your journey.

  7. Willa Umansky says:

    The way you used rhyme to express something very dark gave it the ability to be much more powerful. We are so sorry about your situation and hope you find relief. We thoroughly enjoyed your piece and believe that you have a brilliant way with words.
    Arla & Willa

  8. The poem that you wrote shows your experiences and hardships in a truly significant way. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Vega Gullette says:

    I was really moved by your poem. I like how you narrated your actions; the way you conveyed your words made me feel like I was right there. After reading it, I understand how you feel and I’m really thankful you chose to share your emotions and experiences with us in this way.
    – Vega

  10. Dear PA, I just read your poem PA, and it was one of the best poems that I truly have ever read. You were able to give me an image in my mind of what someone feels like as they are going to prison for the first time. I was struck by your ability to realize quickly “If I practice on bad behaviors, it will only make things go slow.” To me, even though I have never been to prison, but I do think bad behavior makes things go slow. My teacher is telling me to read some of the poems on the Free Minds website, but after I read yours I felt as if I needed to leave a comment. I am just amazed at how you were able to connect this poem to my life in a different way like in the second to last line. My life is a mental fight, and this poem demonstrates to me that everyones is.

  11. Dear PA, I am responding to your poem “New Home.” I think you recognize that you have 2 choices here. You can either make every day miserable or you can make the best of the day. You can live every day to its fullest and use the next 10 years to further educate yourself and improve as a person, or resort to violence. It’s made clear that you recognize that, when you say you need to decide weather or not to “Pick up a book or a knife.” I believe in you and I believe that you will have the strength and courage to do the right things and become a better man. Remember nobody is perfect and you can always be forgiven. I, myself, have made many mistakes and have experienced bumps in the road, but you always get passed them. Use these next 10 years to rewrite your story.

    Best Wishes,

  12. Carter Kane says:

    Dear PA, I just finished reading your poem “New Home” and I really like it. I admire your positive mindset throughout the poem. For example, when you said “I’m in a bad position as it all sinks in, but maybe I can turn this negative into a positive.” This really struck me and serves as a constant reminder to keep a better and more positive mindset everyday. Overall, your poem has hit me on an emotional level and I hope everything is going good for you right now.

  13. Carlos Gonzalez says:

    Dear PA,

    I just read your poem “New Home”, and I was moved by your powerful words. I really liked the lines “I’m in a bad position as it all sinks in. But, maybe I can turn this negative into a positive.” because you have inspired me to always look at the bright side in things, and turn everything into an opportunity for success. I think the optimism you show there is proof that we can all overcome our deepest fears and obstacles, and make our “mental fights” help us make life a journey to learn.

    I wish you the best,

  14. Omeed Chaichian says:

    Dear PA,
    I absolutely love this poem. It really struck me how specific you were with your experience. You include very vivid images that sticks to any reader. I also so love how you see the glass half full and are looking at your situation as a positive opportunity, which is extremely hard to do. You are clearly very talented and gifted in poetry. Keep it up and don’t look down.

  15. Dear PA,
    I just read your poem and really enjoyed it. I liked how you used vivid imagery to describe your trip to jail. I also like that you slowed down to poem to say it all sunk in, and i have had that feeling before when a new reality of your life sinks in. Keep writing man.


  16. Ultan Horrigan says:

    PA, in your poem “New Home” I really liked the way you described the start of your 10 years and arriving into jail. Your positivity and mental strength admitting to what you did wrong and trying to “turn this negative into a positive” is really inspiring and hopeful.

  17. Sofia Bushen says:

    Dear PA,

    I love how you express your experiences and feelings through your poem. Yes you are right,

    It is too late to think of the past. But forgiving yourself turns your play card from negative to postive and push through 10 years.

    I admire and I am proud of you. I look forward to reading your poems.

  18. Very powerful, heavy stuff. A couple of suggestions:

    Pay attention to the tense you’re using. Most of this piece is in present tense but you switch to past tense for “I began also to think to myself”.

    You also skip the rhyming structure in some of the couplets. I’d suggest maybe abandoning the rhyming altogether. I think it might be holding your voice back. I’d like to see what you have to say without that limitation.

    Either way, great work, keep writing, and try not to let the heaviness of it all drag you down.

  19. “They process me in, after they remove all the iron
    And my body feels so drained, weary, and tired”

    I really liked this line. There’s something about the slant rhyme that works really well. More than that, it really shows how completely draining and intense the experience is. Never give up the fight dude, you’ve got this.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.