I Finish Where Jesmyn Ward Left Off


After Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

I’ve once read a book and Jesmyn Ward said majority of black kids drop-out
I kind of see what she’s talking about
Going to school and just sit in the back alone to the great knowledge
Your classmates are achievers, most likely end up in college
If school isn’t your concern, well nor should the malice
You are smart, you are capable to achieve what your heart desires
If someone tell you different then they’re liars
Jesmyn said why not find what motivates this kid?
I agree, why not refer the kid to the school counselor?
Instead of tossing them out like a club bouncer
It’s always different strokes for different folks
I know because I was that kid, scared to ask for help
I had no confidence in myself
So I tried to be smart at being cool
I now consider myself the biggest fool
Now I’m older I realize school was my 1-way ticket from being a statistic
Quitting school gets you prison
In most instances
But you do have drop-outs who make gold from mold
But it’s a small chance
But where I stand as a man, I want you kids to believe in yourself
Believe in school and never give up!
Work sometimes can be tough
But your hardest effort is always enough

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  1. Barbara Moffet on March 26, 2020 at 1:33 PM

    This is so insightful and inspiring. I hope this writer is now on a more rewarding path.

  2. Ian on April 8, 2020 at 1:53 PM

    AG, you have a very inspiring perspective on education. You relate to reasons why someone might be tempted to drop out, and I like how you address these issues with possible solutions. I also really liked the comparison of some dropouts making “gold from mold.” You recognize some could be successful. but that it is rare. I encourage you to continue to make poems and expand on these themes. I really look forward to reading more of your works.

  3. Kayelynn on April 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM

    Dear AG,

    This is a great poem and inspiring! You’re using the hard lessons you’ve learned to try and positively impact kids in a similar situation. And the way that you write is awesome, it’s inspirational, open, and unafraid to share your thoughts/feelings.

  4. heysyd123 on April 17, 2020 at 3:45 PM

    This poem is crazy good. It reminds me of a nonfiction essay but in poem form. It is also a really important poem. Your poem made me angry at how unfair schools are. They really should send kids to counselors who can help them direct their passions. because kids want to be successful and they have dreams and passions. I liked your message at the end. I really think you have an important voice and I hope people listen.

  5. Emily on April 23, 2020 at 2:47 PM

    This poem is so motivating. It is so noble that you are telling people to believe in themselves and complete tough tasks at hand, even though they can be hard. I think the last line, “your hardest effort is always enough” really captures the inspiring aspect of this poem.

  6. Emily on April 24, 2020 at 7:46 PM

    AG, I love your perspective on education. There is no one track to success, but there are people who will derail you if you aren’t easily fitting into the mold. Even still, you are right. Kids should believe in school and work hard to prove people wrong. You and your words are inspirational!

  7. James C on April 27, 2020 at 4:29 PM

    Great poem, AG! I appreciate that you go to great lengths to talk about how an inspiring education can change everything for a student. Instead of just dismissing a student as a ‘bad kid’ and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, the education system needs to do a better job at helping students stay motivated so they can succeed. Your reflection on your past is deep and insightful, and your vision for what the American education system could be is uplifting. Keep up the great work!

  8. Jocelyn Matos on April 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM

    Very true. I just might just look in to the book by Jesmyn Ward. Stick to reading books!!! My mother always told me it would get me a long way.

  9. Tiona Lancaster on April 29, 2020 at 12:54 AM

    I’m not exaggerating, this almost made me tear up. This is such an inspirational piece, and you should be proud of yourself for using your own experiences to encourage others to do better. I takes a strong person to admit their faults, and I am proud of you for that. Continue spreading your knowledge to those who need it and never stop being you wholeheartedly.

  10. eleni on March 25, 2023 at 7:10 PM

    I love this poem! The last line is my favorite, “Work sometimes can be tough, but your hardest effort is always enough”. I think this is so inspirational and a line that I will come back to in times where I feel unmotivated or unsure of myself. The overall message of this poem is so powerful and moving. I also love the line, “Now I’m older I realize school was my 1-way ticket from being a statistic”. This was such a powerful line, and it really got me thinking. I think the best poems are the ones which make the reader take a step back and think, and that’s exactly what I felt from this poem. Amazing work!

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