Dear Mom

By HW

I have to bring it up, remember what you told me?
You said, “Son go outside and play,”
And when I got scraped up you said, “everything would be OK.”

You told me life was like baseball, three strikes and I’m out.
You told me drive slow, but you never said, don’t take the fast route.
When I was young, I thought you knew everything,
Until I realized that death was a part of our reality.

Mom, it’s like the world’s against me, because I’m black.
I want kids, but I don’t want them to go through that.

Why do they hate us?
Why do they laugh?
It’s like you get your respect, when you get your cash.

Mom, what’s modern day slavery?
I thought slavery was dead.
So constitutions and amendments mean nothing, now that Lincoln is dead.
I’ll go read a book and find what they hid,
Because you told me, they been hiding things there, since I was a kid.

6 Comments

  1. Reid Baron on August 22, 2017 at 5:34 PM

    “Look out kid
    They keep it all hid”

    Bob Dylan’s lines. Your poem is excellent.

  2. Alice on August 29, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Very poignant. I love the optimism/call to action of the last two lines.

  3. Claire Dardis on September 18, 2017 at 10:12 PM

    I like how you, the author, use personification throughout his whole poem, especially in lines one and two on stanza three, talking about racism “Mom, it’s like the world’s against me, because I’m black. I want kids, but I don’t want them to go through that.” These lines help correlate the title, “dear mom,” because he doesn’t want to go through the hate blacks usually get, like she did for him. Modern day slavery has gotten out of control in todays society, and opinions like yours are what make a difference. It’s really amazing how you can put your thoughts on it into a moving poem, and I will always keep it in mind.

  4. Sadie Davis on October 6, 2017 at 7:05 PM

    Dear HW, This is a very direct and honest poem and very moving. I am sorry that so many people fear each other in this country and treat each other so terribly because of this fear. Your words are powerful and inspiring. Your mother was right, that books hide many things. I hope you continue to explore the world of writing and share more of your poems with us. Poetry has the power to make people stop and ponder and see the world slightly differently. I look forward to reading more of your poems and hope that each day you will find some peace of mind.

  5. EBS on April 13, 2018 at 1:37 PM

    HW, this is an outstanding poem! I loved this part in your poem: “I’ll go read a book and find what they hid,
    Because you told me, they been hiding things there, since I was a kid.” It really relates to modern society, where many people hide under reputations and lies, refusing to show their true colors.

  6. Tori on May 1, 2020 at 12:17 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this poem. Your words are so powerful. I truly believe others love to hear what you have to say and I really hope that you continue to write. You use your gift to get across an extremely important message and that is very admirable.

Leave a Reply

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.