Dear Your Honor


Dear Your Honor
May I have a moment of your time
To open up your mind to see that I’m more than just my crime?
I would like you to take a few moments to see
That I’m decent and active in my community

Your Honor, that I’m the father of a baby girl
And when her mother took her away
She took away my world

Your Honor
My underlying issues are with substance abuse and mental health
So if I’ve done anything out of character
I was truly not myself

So, Your Honor
Before you give your verdict
See all of me
And remember, nobody’s perfect


  1. Ben Karel on January 11, 2022 at 10:51 AM

    This poem feels very powerful to me, I feel as though I understand your feeling of pain here in the quality of your character wrongly being judged by an action that you regret and did not intend. At a young age I had behavioral issues in school leading to multiple suspensions and often times I felt as though I was being unfairly judged for my mistakes instead of for the quality of my character, even after overcoming many of my issues people still continued to judge me for the mistakes that I had made instead of for the person I had become. I often struggled with the challenge of proving to people that I am more than what they believe me to be. I am sure that from your writing you are familiar with this feeling of being judged only for your mistakes and the challenges of proving to people that you are more than just those mistakes.

  2. Cameron on January 13, 2022 at 3:01 PM

    The repeating of “Your Honor” offers the remembrance of a plea and what the speaker truly feels. It sounds personal and sounds honest, which makes the moment more meaningful. It offers the chance to understand a different side of someone who has done wrong and how they feel about their actions.

  3. Elias Tew on January 13, 2022 at 3:03 PM

    Hi TH! I think that your poem is great. Structurally I think the repetition of “Your Honor” held a lot of weight and brought a good sense of setting and rhythm. Rhyming “girl” and “world” was clever. Every stanza had a topic and told a micro story and I really appreciated it.

  4. Elvis Lang on January 13, 2022 at 3:05 PM

    I really love your poems’s ability to make the reader sympathize with you in a way where we have to put ourselves in both your shoes and a prosecutor’s shoes. I think this poem speaks loudly towards people’s humanity and I think this poem really shows how people who face jail time inherently good people who are just stuck in a bad place.

  5. Dylan Pollard on January 13, 2022 at 3:07 PM

    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to try and change someone’s decision, especially one this serious. Nobody in this world is perfect and not enough people realize that truth, at least not when it matters the most, we all make mistakes, and all have things that are bringing us to a place we don’t want to be. You make your case in such an eloquent and touching way.

  6. Darcy on January 17, 2022 at 4:15 PM

    TH, your poem is a reminder that a person is more than his or her criminal record. We all need to see the whole person and, like judges, shouldn’t sit in judgment of others.

  7. Fatima Pinkney on January 19, 2022 at 8:29 AM

    This poem really touched my heart. It was real & the imagery of this poem took me to a place where I could picture what events are going on. It told me a lot about what this person is going through.

  8. Nikki Lumbre on January 19, 2022 at 1:17 PM

    This is a great and powerful poem that represents what’s going on in everyone’s minds as they receive their verdict. I think you should add one more line to the very end of the poem that rhymes with “me” so that it can feel like a better wrap up to the poem and end it on a stronger note.

  9. Kathryn Campbell on January 20, 2022 at 5:41 PM

    This is beautiful! It’s so easy to see people as nothing more than their mistakes. You found solace in a higher power and are clearly motivated to rebuild your life. I commend you for that!

  10. Mckenzie on January 21, 2022 at 10:35 AM

    Hi TH,

    Your poem was truly touching. This poem piece touched me on an emotional and personal level. Understanding underlying issues such as substance abuse and one’s mental health and how that can lead us down a different path than we had hoped for. You spoke about character and for the judge to see ALL of you, I like how you mentioned those and then ended on “nobody’s perfect”. You are right nobody is perfect and to be judged by one situation and not by what had happened before the situation and why the situation occurred. Often we look past a person and only look at the bad that they did when it was caused by underlying situations or issues in most situations. I enjoyed your piece, wonderful work!

    – McKenzie

  11. kate l on January 26, 2022 at 9:10 PM

    Beautiful and extremely powerful poem. Thank you so much for sharing. Your writing is amazing and flows so well. I wish you the best.

  12. Andrew F on January 27, 2022 at 9:00 PM

    I can really feel your pain coming through your words with this poem. Thank you for sharing that and allowing me to try to understand that pain.

  13. Heather B on January 27, 2022 at 9:01 PM

    Dear TH,

    Thank you for your poem. Here’s what I hear in this poem: a deep longing to have the fullness of your story heard by those who would judge you. Though you write to “Your Honor,” I wonder if there are others who you wish could hear your story in all its complexities – family, friends, maybe even yourself. I wish you peace and hope you keep writing.


  14. Maddie on February 4, 2022 at 3:32 PM

    That was very well written! You really opened up and showed your emotions. Nice work!

  15. Megan McTaggart on February 17, 2022 at 1:26 PM

    Every judge should have to read this poem before they deliver a sentence. So powerful.

  16. Alex on February 17, 2022 at 1:27 PM

    I love the premise of this poem and the first few lines are shockingly powerful. I think our world needs a reminder that incarcerated individuals, and those who have been incarcerated in the past, are so much more than their record. This was wonderfully written.

  17. Orion on February 18, 2022 at 7:25 PM

    I thought your repetition of “your honor” and the rhyming also worked really well. I also liked the overall message.

  18. Madi Boeckman on February 18, 2022 at 7:26 PM

    I like the repetition of the phrase “your honor;” the rhyming and repetition create a nice rhythm. The story told in the poem is gut wrenching, especially the line “she took away my world”

  19. Jaelin Esmay Fraser on February 25, 2022 at 8:27 AM

    Thank you for sharing TH. I enjoyed reading your words! Not only did this poem flow beautifully, but it touched my heart.

  20. MJ on February 27, 2022 at 6:56 PM


    I’m rooting for you man. Too often people see one aspect of a person as defining their whole character and worth. I wish you all the best in conquering your struggles with substance and mental health. I’ve watched my brother fight this same battle for years. Remember there will be a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Find your light.

  21. Lauren Vinson on March 21, 2022 at 12:03 PM

    Your poem was simple yet so powerful. I think as a society people forget that people who are incarcerated are still human beings. Everyone makes mistakes every single day and should not be defined by that mistake. We all have regrets that get us down, because we have high hopes for our lives. I want you to know that this moment will not last forever, stay strong and advocate for yourself. You are defined by the Lord Jesus Christ who gives you the power to overcome these sins in His mighty name because of the sacrifice He made for you on the cross. You are not alone.

  22. SM on March 25, 2022 at 10:45 AM

    This poem gave me chills TH. I love how you spoke about mental health, and how this can make someone do things they would never think of. Help should be easier to receive for substance abuse and mental health, and judges should take this into account before “giving their verdict”. Great job!

  23. Robert on March 30, 2022 at 12:21 PM

    Amazing poem TH, very unique and beautiful description. Keep it up TH!

  24. KC on April 7, 2022 at 4:08 PM


    This is a beautiful poem! Your words are eloquent, and you perfectly describe the importance of grace. You are so much more than your struggles and your mistakes. Never forget that!

  25. Claire and Aliza on April 18, 2022 at 7:25 PM

    I love this. It is simple, well-written, and profound. Thank you for sharing this with us. We look forward to reading more of your works.

  26. Jacey on April 19, 2022 at 8:31 PM

    Hi TH,

    Thank you for sharing your work. I think it is so powerful, and I appreciate it. I think it is easy for those to get lost in their job and forget what their true purpose is. It is hard to step away from your role and remember that all people are trying hard to do the right thing and each person has their own obstacles to overcome. Whatever happens, I hope that you are able to make positive progress and work towards your goals. I hope my comment fonds you well and know that you are loved.

    Best Wishes,

  27. Emma on April 20, 2022 at 6:16 PM

    This poem is beautifully written. I really appreciate the authenticity you’ve put into these words. This poem highlights your commitment to work on yourself, explaining where you’ve been and what you’ve gone through. I can tell that you have written what is really hard to say, which is one reason why this poem really stuck out to me. Mental health is so often looked over, or not talked about, but this poem would probably be comforting to others who have experienced mental health issues themselves.

  28. Emily L. on April 20, 2022 at 7:15 PM

    I really enjoyed this poem. I like the formality of addressing “the judge” while, at the same time, opening up the emotions and experiences of your story. It gives the reader a chance to understand more of where you are now and where you have been. Your word choice and rhyming gave the poem rhythm. This poem is emotionally driven which makes it very strong. I think you did a great job!

  29. Nasim S. on April 23, 2022 at 4:53 PM

    This poem is beautiful. Your words reveal a very difficult and personal battle. I agree with the fact that judges and the whole prison system itself treat incarcerated people as subhuman. It’s awful and wrong. They ignore the humanity in individuals and rob you of your entire experiences, livelihood, and identity. Substance abuse should not be a crime that warrants incarceration. Anyone who struggles with it deserves assistance and compassion, as do all human beings. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Camryn on April 24, 2022 at 3:27 PM

    TH, thank you for this beautiful piece on how cruel our justice system can be. Unfortunately our world sees things in a way that is black and white, defining people by their misconduct. I encourage you to remain strong, and continue to write in order to aid your mental health.

  31. Kaitlyn R. on April 24, 2022 at 4:53 PM

    TH, I think it is very important for judges to look at the person as a whole and not just for the crimes they have committed. It is very admirable that you are opening up about your substance abuse and mental health struggles. As you said, nobody is perfect and sometimes people make mistakes. Regardless of what happens, I hope you get to see your beautiful baby girl soon.

  32. Abram on April 28, 2022 at 3:16 PM

    Your poem masterfully paints a picture of you on your knees, begging, hoping for a better life. Your weaving between sympathy and empathy through mentions of wanting to raise your baby daughter, struggles with family and issues with mental health is beautiful. The problems with mental health were very relatable as it can be hard to reach out when help is needed the most. Through repeated use of the words “your honor”, you also show humbleness and acknowledge that you have made a mistake in front of the judge. You will not give up in pursuit of forgiveness because you know in your heart that you are a good man. I also very much enjoyed the rhymes that were present throughout the poem as they did not feel forced but more so felt like breathing in and out.

    AW Minnesota

  33. Reese on April 28, 2022 at 3:17 PM

    TH, I am writing to you today to talk about your wonderful poem “Dear Your Honor.” When I was scanning through the Free Minds website, your poem was the first one that caught my eye. The structure and vulnerability that you used was so powerful. When I was reading your poem I instantly felt engaged because of the meaning behind each word. I appreciate how you personalized your poem but at the same time made it relatable to other people. You used your own story but at the same time left it open for others to also connect it with their story which is what I loved most about your poem. My favorite phrase in your poem is “Your honor may I have a moment of your time to open up your mind to see that I am more than just my crime.” This phrase really moved me because I can feel your frustration with not being able to freely express yourself. I relate to this because I have been through situations in my life where I feel like I don’t have a voice, and it is very frustrating and hard. I hope one day you get the opportunity to express and speak your mind through your work. My favorite poetic techniques that you used in this poem were rhyme and repetition. I loved how you chose specific phrases to rhyme but not all of them. It really made the poem very interesting to read. Lastly, the repetition that you used throughout your poem with putting the phrase “your honor” in front of each paragraph was very clever. It tied the title into the poem and helped the reader to keep going back to the person you are addressing. Thank you for sharing your work, I really enjoyed reading your poem and I hope you write another one soon.

    Best, RA, Minnesota

  34. Josh Barnhart on April 28, 2022 at 3:20 PM

    I enjoyed your poem in large part because it individualized you, which made you larger than an “abuser of substances” — it made you “larger than your crime.” It put things into context: you are a “decent and active” member of your community, a “father to a baby girl”, a generally upstanding person. You are not merely a criminal. Additionally, the poem reveals that, like many others, you struggle with very real problems, some of them unique to you (i.e., your being deprived of your daughter) and others more common (i.e., struggles with mental health). However, the last stanza is really what made this poem so impactful for me. It reminds me that I myself am imperfect, that I too have problems and coping mechanisms. Simultaneously, however, it reminds me that we should not be judged by one imperfection or one outburst alone. Instead, we should be judged more holistically, and that we are more than our shortcomings or mistakes.


  35. Chynel on April 29, 2022 at 12:43 PM

    This is a very powerful poem and I can tell it’s very personal. Thank you for sharing and letting the world see a different side of the stories we so often only view from one perspective.

  36. Reid on May 4, 2022 at 2:14 PM


    I think that your poem was amazing. I do not know what you are going through but your poem explains so much. I am sorry that I can’t relate to you but you should know that this poem is my favorite that I’ve read on this website, maybe even my favorite I’ve read ever
    Your ability to string words together is incredible. What’s even more incredible is that you can make those words rhyme. I loved your poem and I think you should continue writing poems.

  37. PA on May 10, 2022 at 8:30 PM

    Wow. It’s short, but such a powerful poem. I feel for you, TH. I wish our system didn’t punish victims of substance abuse and mental health issues the way they do. Like you said, we need to see “all” of the person, not just the things we decide to call criminal. I hope more people read this poem because I know it will move them, and hopefully it can inspire some change. Keep up the writing, TH.

  38. Jade on September 24, 2022 at 8:47 PM

    This poem is really great. And I agree that nobody is perfect and that unfortunately after someone hears one thing their entire perception of you will be altered, and it’s hard to change that. I do believe it’s important to look at the whole person and the whole picture before making a judgment, and I think your poem captures that idea very nicely. I enjoyed reading this, I think it was really impactful and you should definitely keep writing!

  39. Oshane on September 25, 2022 at 4:47 PM

    You bring to light a very interesting topic as to how we have laws and regulations that govern how one is punished for whatever crime or offense is committed. How one’s decision such as from a judge can have so much power. It is true that sometimes we focus on the offense committed and not the individual as a whole. However, we can only try to find a lesson to learn that our actions do have consequences and we falter sometimes and don’t always do what is deemed as right. Do continue to keep the faith and stay strong during this challenging period of your life and road to recovery.

  40. Jill on October 2, 2022 at 4:20 PM

    This poem is very open and honest. I think this poem emphasizes that people are more than just their criminal records. Using “Dear Your Honor” in every line symbolizes that you want your voice to be heard and understood which is powerful. Keep up the great work and stay strong!

  41. EH on October 9, 2022 at 1:42 PM

    This is a beautiful poem with a powerful message. It seems our justice system is too quick to brush off whole human beings as merely the crime they’re charged with; to ignore their circumstances and uniqueness as to ignore the difficult part of justice. It seems they’d prefer stripping someone of their humanity without a second thought than to struggle with them in the process of growth and healing. Mental health in sentencing is an issue I’m personally passionate about, and something I hope to focus on when I become a practicing defense attorney in a few years. I also want to note I enjoyed your repetition of the phrase “your honor”, as it represents this challenge to the justice system to come face to face with the issue they’re creating, to look back in the eyes of a defendant treating them with the humanity and respect that they so often neglect to dish out themselves.

  42. Meghan on October 14, 2022 at 7:41 PM

    Wow, this poem is beautiful. I can tell even though the poem is short how much growth you have made since you committed your crime. It is very important that you are aware of the mistakes that you made, and that you know you made bad choices. From just reading this poem I know you have so much in you and that your life is going uphill from here. Keep fighting!

  43. Ruby on October 17, 2022 at 6:45 PM

    Hi TH, this is powerful and profound. A much needed wake-up call to our legal system. You are more than a number, you are a father, a citizen, and a highly valuable human being, among many other things. That’s something the court likes to forget: that you are a human being. I’m sorry for their mistreatment. Thank you for speaking out, I hear you and I see all of you through your vulnerable writing.

  44. Ainsley on October 19, 2022 at 4:51 PM

    Hi TH,
    This poem was so powerful. It is such a strong reminder that people are so much more than their mistakes. The way you were able to express your struggles with loss and mental health through your words was very touching. I think that although you addressed this poem to “your honor”, this message is important for everyone that people make mistakes due to things they are struggling with, and these mistakes don’t define who this person is. I hope nothing but happiness comes your way soon, and you continue sharing your writing with others! Thank you so much for sharing,

  45. Amelia on October 30, 2022 at 11:57 PM

    I love the use of the rhetorical questions in this poem. They’re very powerful and I think truly makes the reader understand your pain. I also love the rhyming involved. This poem is packed full and you truly have talent!

  46. Kayla on October 31, 2022 at 11:44 PM

    I think this poem tells a lot. It shows that in every trial nobody knows the whole story and nobody knows the stories of the people involved. Substance abuse really does change someone’s character, my mother struggles. If she does something under the influence its not her actual character. I also struggle with bad mental health issues and its an extremely hard to get through. I hope you got the help you needed for your substance abuse and for your mental health issues. I also hope that you reunite with your baby girl. I think this poem will show others that they aren’t alone and that they aren’t the only one who has struggles. I hope you succeed and just keep trying to share you story.

  47. Alexis on November 13, 2022 at 5:59 PM

    I can imagine your poem speaks to so many in your situation. It also makes those who aren’t in your situation think about how you are a person with a loving heart just like the rest of us. You talk about how you are active in the community and how your daughter is your world. By this I can tell you care so much about those close to you. You mention how substance abuse and mental illness made you someone you are not. It makes perfect sense you say this, the effect of addiction and mental health issues can really cause someone to be out of character, control, and aware of their actions or the effects of them. This by no means you were a bad person during this time, it is not your fault that you were ill. You are right, nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, and you are just as human as the rest of us. I believe in you on your recovery journey, you have already done so much by realizing that version of yourself is not you and not who you want to be.

  48. Emily on November 20, 2022 at 5:12 PM

    This piece is so heartbreaking to read. I’m sorry to hear your story and I hope you’re doing better. Letting a judgement go is so hard for someone and I know it can be frustrating when bias gets I the way of justice. Even if you are in prison, that doesn’t mean you are a bad father. I truly hope everything works out for you and your daughter.

  49. Andrew on November 27, 2022 at 9:24 PM

    This is a very powerful poem and shows readers the struggles of dealing with this situation. I hope the best!

  50. Daisy on December 6, 2022 at 10:45 PM

    Dear TH,

    The themes of court, family, identity, legal system, and mental health in your poetry “Dear Your Honor” grasped my attention. The repeated phrase “Your Honor” carried a lot of significance and provided a strong sense of place. It provided readers with a clear picture of what you are attempting to communicate to be heard, just as if you were in court or speaking out against society. It was creative to rhyme “girl” and “world”. I particularly liked how each stanza had a subject and provided a brief story. Recognizing underlying problems, such as substance misuse and mental health, and how they may divert us from the desired course. I loved how you addressed character and the need for the judge to examine the whole of you before concluding that “nobody’s flawless.” No one is perfect, and it is unfair to evaluate someone based just on a single event rather than the circumstances leading up to it. When a person does something illegal, we frequently overlook the fact that it was caused by other factors and simply focus on that one act. I sincerely hope you can reconnect with your daughter and share your poetic ability with her. You are fantastic at writing, so I urge you to keep doing it. Thank you for sharing your story through a powerful poem. You are far more than your difficulties and errors. Remember that always!

    Best wishes,
    St. Paul, Minnesota

  51. Julia on December 7, 2022 at 3:27 PM

    Your poem has opened my eyes, giving me the reminder that we are all human. You explain that people cannot be identified by one single event or characteristic. My favorite line in the poem is “To open up your mind to see that I’m more than just my crime?” We are more than what others see, we should not be identified by titles, but as who we are overall as a person. You say this best at the end “And remember, nobody’s perfect”, we all are human and make many mistakes.” I enjoyed your honesty explaining that you have dealt with substance abuse and mental health problems, but you are also an active member in the community and a father. This is a very powerful message; we need to embrace the good and bad parts of ourselves, knowing our strong suits and weaknesses. If we know who we are and are not afraid to show others, then others can understand us more. Your poem has taught me that I need to be more honest with myself and start looking at people and situations as a whole not just by pieces. Thank you – Julia from MN

  52. Allison R. on December 30, 2022 at 10:23 PM

    This was a very powerful poem. I think not just when it comes to a judge but when it comes to anyone sometimes people forget that even if someone pleads guilty, they are still a person, and their crime does not define them. People make mistakes. People can struggle with mental health and are not always in control. People have a life. People often forget that. Instead of punishing people, there need to be efforts to provide the help that those that need it whether it be mentally, financially, or by other means. Your poem does a fantastic job pointing this out and calling for change in our criminal justice system. I encourage you to please continue writing. Your work really is amazing!

  53. Daniela on February 7, 2023 at 6:54 PM

    Very honorable, I could really sympathize with this poem, no matter the side factors that might have caused difficulty for people that suffer with mental issues, shows that it’s not easy to overcome.

  54. Shelby on February 13, 2023 at 1:34 PM

    I love this poem; it is so powerful and there are some parts that I really relate to. The lines “So if I’ve done anything out of character, I was truly not myself” really stuck out to me. As someone who has also struggled with mental health and substance use, I really relate to this. I have also acted in ways that were not consistent with who I really am because of the condition my mind was in at the time. I also love the end of the poem… “So, Your Honor; Before you give your verdict; See all of me; And remember, nobody’s perfect”. It is such a powerful part of the poem. Nobody is perfect but there is so much stigma surrounding mental health and substance use that our symptoms are taken as personal flaws, rather than just mistakes that we made.

  55. Corrina on February 13, 2023 at 10:16 PM

    Hi TH, thanks for sharing this poem. The repetition of the phrase “your honor” really stood out to me. This is what goes through so many minds when in the same position as you. One person holding your fate can be very intimidating. By describing your daughter as “your world” the reader gets a sense of how much she means to you. I am glad you were able to step out of your shell and write this poem.

  56. Kearsten on February 17, 2023 at 12:22 AM

    Hi TH,

    This poem is so powerful and so moving. The format of a letter to the judge is so beautifully written, and the words are so raw and open that I found myself in your shoes. I’m sorry to hear you have struggles with mental illness and substance abuse and I hope you are able to get the help and treatment you need. I also hope you’ll be able to see your daughter again soon. Thank you for sharing this vulnerability with us and I hope everything works out in your favor. Best of luck, and I’m wishing you peace and happiness.

  57. S on February 27, 2023 at 7:13 PM

    This poem really shows an reiterates that fact that you are a person before any of your experiences. This is a beautiful reminder to treat everyone with kindness as you may not know their entire story.

  58. TM on March 11, 2023 at 12:12 AM

    To TH- There are many ways that one can interpret this poem, and that’s powerful. You’ve introduced multiple topics in this poem with a few words. What I took away from it is that there were multiple underlying issues that were happening in your life which caused you to act in “bad faith.” Both mental health and substance abuse are real problems in our world that greatly influence what people do. Our justice system doesn’t allow these as “excuses” even if they’re very real problems that can cause people to do the wrong things. You are right, no one is perfect and we as a whole need to remember that. Especially when an individual makes a mistake because, at the end of the day, they’re not perfect. I really like your use of the phrase “your honor,” in bringing in the justice system topic to this poem which is important. Great poem, thank you for sharing!

  59. Jocelyn Patterson on March 20, 2023 at 2:20 PM

    I really like your poem. I think that I relate to this because something I have studied in college is that we are all human and people should always help people. I have also learned that a lot of crime happens due to substance abuse and mental health and that’s where humans should be helping other humans and that will help our society and our world.

  60. Grace on March 21, 2023 at 4:33 PM

    Hi there! I really liked reading your poem and I think that the point you made must encapsulate the mindset of many people who are incarcerated. As a college student who is studying to work in the field of psychology, I believe that it is so important to remain empathetic and understanding of the mindset someone has and to remember that not every situation is the same. I believe that many people make mistakes due to underlying reasons, and that while yes people need to take accountability for their mistakes so that those same mistakes aren’t repeated, I think that the point you made in this poem showed that the mistakes we make should not always define us. Not everyone that makes mistakes is “bad”, instead just in need of empathy, understanding, and help. I also feel that this poem touches upon the judgement of others, not just of an actual judge, but the way we all view ourselves and others. I feel that it is unfair to jump straight to conclusions, and that we must look at the whole person, the circumstances, the mistake made itself, and the reasons behind why that mistake was made. I think it was really powerful overall. Thank you for sharing.

  61. Emilie on March 22, 2023 at 10:38 AM


    I love the rhyme scheme in this poem. It has a great impact on seeing the message within it. I like how you address and repeat “Your Honor” throughout. It is interesting to relate the underlying mental state to the aspects of our justice system. I agree with line 3 – crime may not define one’s character.

  62. PH on March 22, 2023 at 8:03 PM

    Yes, the Honor really does need to see that you need more time because that’s what a fair trial does. I like the evidence that you give to the Honor that you are a good person that you’re baby girl means the world to you while also telling the other side of the story where you say your wife did something. Yeah, we can truly not be ourselves whether we realize it or not. Nobody’s perfect except God. See the bigger picture of me your Honor.

  63. Joey on October 10, 2023 at 10:05 AM

    This one hit home to me as a child of a parent who has been to jail and has also dealt with substance abuse I promise you just have to show your girl all the attention in the world and she will always love you.

  64. KL on October 10, 2023 at 10:08 AM

    I really like your poem TH. I think it speaks to how many people feel, where they are looked at for what they have done and not who they are, and I think you did a great job of describing that. I hope that a judge or someone in the court system gets to hear this poem so that you can be heard and they can start to look at people differently. I also like how you added a little about yourself in the poem when you talk about your daughter because it shows how this has affected you.

  65. Maggie on October 11, 2023 at 10:49 AM

    HI TH! I enjoyed reading your poem. It was one of the most moving poems that I have read, and I thank you for sharing it. It is so beautifully written. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Your mistakes do not define who you are as a person. We all see who you truly are, and your substance abuse and mental health issues do not define you. I wish you the best in your life ahead.

  66. Josie on October 24, 2023 at 2:58 PM

    I love this poem. This is the best one that I’ve read on here by far. Nothing is beating this one. You’re asking the judge to see you as more than just your crime, and it’s true everyone that comitts a crime is more than just their crime. Everyone is human and no one on this earth, anywhere is perfect. There’s no true definition of a person that is perfect. It’s clear no one is. If everyone was perfect there would be no judge, no crimes, no lawyers and no jails. This is one of the most realistic poems I’ve read on here. Asking the judge to see you as a person and that everyone makes mistakes is just so powerful to say the most. Great job.

  67. Aika on May 7, 2024 at 4:07 PM

    Every aspect and every word of this poem carried so much weight for me. You have an incredible ability to convey emotionality through the imagery and narrative style you used. It speaks so powerfully on the injustice of the so-called justice system and the intense pain that is left behind when people start to become statistics in the eyes of the law. It is a much-needed reminder that people are not one dimensional. Your vulnerability about struggling with substance abuse and mental health is admirable and through your poem it becomes clear that this is not all that you are. You are a father, a role model, and a person in your own right, and this is not made any less true by the struggles that you face. Thank you for sharing your work, I’m sure it will continue to touch the hearts of many like it did mine.

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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.