Body of Words


Call it what you want, I’m going to call it how I feel
But one thing we all know is I’m going to keep it real
I believe it was “Will” who made me carry around that cold steel
See what I mean?
That’s the dummy in me
Who believed instead of working for it, it was better to steal 
I say I was a leader and in a way that’s true
But like I said this here is about speaking true
So speaking true is what I will do
Truthfully speaking, I was a follower way more than I led
Yes that’s what was buried in this young black man’s head
I did not see no life for myself without jail or death
Now I’m happy to say jail came first and then Free Minds came next
They gave me hope and pride and now there is no way I want to hide
From the truth at hand and with their help
I believe I can become a better man


  1. Brian Chappell on August 7, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    Dear DM,

    My name is Brian, and I am an English teacher living in Washington, D.C. Thanks so much for sharing your poem. The most striking line, for me, was “I did not see no life for myself without jail or death/Now I’m happy to say jail came first.” What a striking idea. You suggest, in a way, that jail saved your life, because it led you to Free Minds. In other words, you turned a low point in your life into a positive influence. You speak of leadership in the first part of the poem; now you are discovering the tools to “become a better man,” to even become a leader. Poetry is that tool. The title of your poem is “Body of Words” – I like this phrasing because not only does it speak to a body of words like a poem or book, but it also speaks to the idea that words – poetry – are part of your body. Poetry courses through your veins; it’s part of your nervous system. Feel the power of words in your body, and continue to speak from the “truth at hand,” Thank you!

Leave a Comment

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

The poets featured here are currently incarcerated, and many of them are in federal prisons far from home. Your feedback is a valuable source of motivation and connection to the outside community. Post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem. Messages will be passed on directly to the author. Comments may not appear immediately on the site, as our team processes them to mail to the poets.