In My Heart


I have been
Stuck in this cage alone,
Knowing, yet, scared and
Barred from the help
Necessary to transcend
This blinding suffering
Ingrained in my gut.
My dad’s father’s
Popa’s father’s pain,
I feel in my heart.


  1. Maranda Faber on September 14, 2022 at 10:06 AM

    This is a very touchy poem. I can understand your struggle as to why you feel stuck in a cage. You are scared and want help. You don’t know what will come next and yes that is very scary. You talk about how you feel your dads fathers pain in your heart. That is very touching.

  2. Anna Carpentiere on September 19, 2022 at 7:59 PM

    This poem is very emotional and touching. The beginning of this poem feels like a reach for help. It’s important to always check in with those around you because someone might look okay, but might need help mentally. Being alone is hard for some people and easy for others. It’s okay to feel this way, but when life gets hard it’s important to reach out for help because there are lots of people who care. You got this and remember the best is yet to come!

  3. madison on September 21, 2022 at 1:06 PM

    This poem was on the shorter side but holds a lot of emotion and meaning. These are my favorite types of poems because as a reader you can fill in the gaps and make it a little about yourself. I loved the word choice, i think that is an important part of poetry. sadness and stuggle really shine through great job on this!!

  4. Liz on September 22, 2022 at 8:52 PM

    I appreciate you sharing your feelings with your struggle. This poem has made me felt my heart sunk for you, and I hope times heals for you.

  5. Jill on September 23, 2022 at 2:33 PM

    Great Poem! I think this emphasizes a sense of emotion and how that is not only affecting the narrator but the people around them. With it being a short poem, my only recommendation is to maybe expand it more and draw out the details more. I think adding a little more detail will help the poem tell its story on a deeper level. Other than that it was very well done!

  6. kayla on September 25, 2022 at 12:19 AM

    Although a sad poem, I really enjoyed reading it. Even though I don’t know who the piece is about, I felt the same pain and struggle they felt. It was really heartfelt.

  7. Vernie on September 25, 2022 at 8:56 PM

    I hope you feel better soon!

  8. Eliza Jones on September 25, 2022 at 9:31 PM

    I like how simple and yet powerful this poem is. The way the last few lines highlight the generational pain was really striking to me as well.

  9. Mikayla McKerley on September 26, 2022 at 12:09 PM

    The very first line was a great way to start this poem, “I have been stuck in this cage alone…” really showed me how that feeling of being alone can bring so many different emotions like what you talked about in the poem.
    The way you described the gut feeling really stood out to me because the feeling of being scared but yet trapped is a very hard feeling to cope with. The exact line that really made me think was “..This blinding suffering ingrained in my gut” feeling other peoples pain in your own way is something many people take in differently, this line really showed me how much you feel for your family.
    The poem was short yet you used words that had deeper meaning so I was really able to understand the feeling you where describing. Really good job on this.

  10. Oshane on October 2, 2022 at 10:09 PM

    It is not easy to feel confined, stuck, and limited from accessing what we need and are used to. Pain is something we can all relate to we all experience it in different forms and times in our life. The least we can all do is somehow find a way to channel it and use it as fuel to keep us going and hope for the good that we want to see happen in our lives. Do not let the pain hinder us from moving forward.

  11. Josie Kelly on October 3, 2022 at 8:20 PM

    I think your poem shows how many people are feeling in this situation. You did a great job of expressing these emotions through the poem. You are doing great!

  12. Meghan on October 7, 2022 at 5:38 PM

    I feel sadness from reading this poem. Nothing can ever cover up sadness, but there are distractions used to help with sadness. My advice is to follow your heart, make your dad’s father happy in life and make the right choices to make him proud.

  13. Abigail on October 8, 2022 at 10:07 PM

    This poem allows me to emphasize with the author. It is clear to the point but allows the reader to question more about the situation. The demonstration of emotions is very impactful and the clear love for family. The analogy of the cage and how the author cannot receive help shows the impact of a mentality of incarceration. The comparison of mental pain causing physical pain is very impactful and allows someone to relate as someone can imagine the physical pain. The emotion is so strong it can cause physical hurt. The solitude of the author leaves them with their thoughts causing this pain and the need to help when they cannot is frustrating causing the suffering.

  14. Liz on October 16, 2022 at 4:39 PM

    Hey AW!

    I loved the imagery in your poem and reading it make me sympathized with your struggle. Keep writing!!

  15. Nora on October 16, 2022 at 9:54 PM

    The emotions you express have both overlaps and contradictions. However, your writing style connects the two points. Being alone is a natural and well-known feeling along with empathizing with people, especially when you have a connection with that person. Most people have issues with change, so people can connect with your poem.

  16. Mackenzie Curry on October 16, 2022 at 10:11 PM

    Hi AW,
    So, the first thing I thought of after reading this was, this is a grief writing. Now I may be interpreting this wrong, but it sounds like you are in the same pain as your father. You are in pain from missing them and they are in pain…differently. As someone who has lost someone close to me without you having to explain I understand what you are saying in your poem. I’m sorry you have to deal with such pain. It will get better it may not be any time soon, but it will always get better. Goodluck AW!

  17. Conor Thompson on October 23, 2022 at 5:02 PM

    Hey Aw, why I picked your poem is because of how much it relates to me and my life. I too in my heart feels like its trapped in others people cages and feel sorry for them. You are not alone during all of this I’m sure there others like us out there. Please continue to write because I love how you write in your poems.

  18. Stace on October 24, 2022 at 4:00 PM

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem.

  19. KC on October 27, 2022 at 5:02 PM


    Although you use few words, they are powerful! I can feel the pain you describe. The sense of solitude permeates the lines of this poem. Thank you for your vulnerability. I hope you get closer to peace each day.

  20. kayley on October 28, 2022 at 2:36 PM

    These poems are definitely my favorites because of the sentiment they create. Although this poetry was on the shorter side, it was packed with emotion. There are probably others going through this with you; you are not alone. I really enjoy your writing style, so please keep it up.

  21. Anna on October 30, 2022 at 5:54 PM

    Hey AW, thank you for sharing this poem! I think it is so important to let out your emotions and let people know how you are feeling and this is a great way to do it. While I can’t fully understand what you are feeling or going through, I connect to this poem in other ways and I am happy to have read it. It is so powerful, thank you for writing it.

  22. ken on October 30, 2022 at 10:52 PM

    This was so emotional and meaning full to you. Thank you for writing this and being voulnerable in your writing. It was short but it had so much emotion behind it. Keep up the good work and never stop writing!

  23. aaliyah on October 30, 2022 at 11:30 PM

    Hello AW, your poem was so touching, and left me emotional. When you say how you’ve “been stuck in this cage alone” was heartbreaking. No one should feel stripped of help or emotional resources. It’s hard to deal with feelings of entrapment especially on your own so I hope you get what you need to start feeling relief, and peace within yourself. When you explain how you “feel your dads fathers’ pain in your heart” it doesn’t sound like an easy thing to balance out with everything else going on. But I have hope in you. You can channel those negative emotions and fuel them into motivation to ascend to the greater levels of positivity, and peace. I know things are really hard for you at the moment but If you have hope and keep moving forward eventually you will end up where you need to be. I want to thank you for sharing such a beautiful, touching poem. And I want to thank you for sharing your emotions with the world. That shows you have great strength. I hope you feel batter sooner than later.
    I wish you the best! Aaliyah

  24. Ainsley on November 3, 2022 at 10:04 AM

    Hi AW,
    This is an amazing poem. While it’s on the shorter side, there is so much emotion conveyed through your words that makes it so powerful. I think the cage metaphor could be interpreted as physical bars or mental/emotional bars, both making you feel as if there is no way out or up. Your mention of generational pain is intense, but I think it’s important to remember that loneliness is not forever, and generational traditions can be broken! Thank you so much for sharing,

  25. Crystal E. on November 20, 2022 at 10:39 AM

    I hope you continue expressing your feelings about incarceration’s loneliness through poetry. Your writing is highly emotional and touching. With best wishes for a bright future, I would like to thank you for sharing your poem.

  26. HL on November 20, 2022 at 2:54 PM

    I really like your references to fatherhood at the end of the poem. This might be a stretch but my first thought was Hamlet by Shakespeare and the tense dynamic he has with the ghost of his dead father and his uncle who murdered him. Hamlet’s famous soliloquy also echoes feelings of solitude, isolation, lost feelings with no set path and the world caving in on him. Whether you’re familiar with Hamlet or not, this poem evokes larger thoughts and reflections which brought back my own memories form this play.

  27. Safwan on November 21, 2022 at 8:24 PM

    When i first read the poem i thought of the cage as a metaphor for generational trauma, but to read the caption and understand that the cage is jail makes your metaphor so much more poignant. The brevity of the poem truly conveys the level of intensity behind your message.

  28. Al on November 27, 2022 at 12:12 PM

    Thank you for sharing your poem! The words in your poem are so powerful! The sense of loneliness is definitely hard to overcome, and it is essential to realize that loneliness does not have to last forever.

  29. Pratham on November 27, 2022 at 6:48 PM

    Short yet powerful poem. I like the use of the word cage because it really captures what a lot of us feel.

  30. Andrew on November 27, 2022 at 8:29 PM

    You’re conveying so much emotion in very few lines, and it highlights the struggles that you’ve been going through. I hope that you’ll be better soon.

  31. Brielle on November 28, 2022 at 1:39 AM

    This poem was very emotional and meaningful. It was short and yet still managed to be very descriptive and powerful.

  32. Bella on December 1, 2022 at 12:19 PM

    This is a very powerful yet simple poem. The purpose of the poem was shown in a very small amount of words and I think that is part of what makes it so emotional. When the poem talks about different parts of their family being incarcerated before and feeling that pain in their heart was super powerful.

  33. Jules on December 1, 2022 at 12:20 PM

    This poem is very emotional and allows the reader to feel empathy for you. I’m sorry you have to go through something that sounds so difficult, but using poetry is a great way to pour out your feelings. Not only does it give you somewhere to put them, it gives the public an idea of what people have to face in prison .

  34. Samantha Haviland on December 6, 2022 at 9:50 PM

    Wow, in just a few short lines you do a great job of describing your pain. It is very impactful to hear your comparison of being stuck in a cage. The feeling of being trapped is evident in your words and you can feel what the writer might be feeling. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Angela on December 10, 2022 at 11:31 AM

    I sincerely hope you keep using poetry to share your thoughts on the loneliness of incarceration. Your writing evokes strong emotions and is really moving. I’d want to thank you for sharing your poem and wish you all the best for the future.

  36. Kaylee A on December 10, 2022 at 11:31 AM

    As a fifteen year old, this poem you wrote is extremely powerful. The amount of emotion that I get from this is astounding. Just the first two lines pack so much of an understanding, it’s incredible. I feel like I can truly hear you and your struggles. The poem makes me feel exactly what you’re feeling, and the way you convey that without having to explain much about the situation is amazing. I also loved how you talked about the generations before you, it’s a really powerful image, friend. I want to let you know, I hear you!! Keep writing, and keep going.

  37. Allison R. on December 30, 2022 at 6:09 PM

    This is a very deep and emotional poem. Thank you for sharing this poem and your feelings. I am sorry that you are suffering. The feeling of isolation and loneliness can cut deep and be painful. I hope writing can give you a little bit of peace and help you escape form your pain, even if it is just temporary. Your poem pulls at my heart. I have suffered from loneliness and know how it can impact one’s mental health. I hope you continue to write. I wish you all the best.

  38. TM on February 4, 2023 at 1:52 PM

    To AW- You’re able to fit so much into a small poem. I cannot relate to your poem but after reading it I can get an idea of just what this poem is about and more. There are so many emotions that people go through when they’re in your position. You’re stuck in a place where you don’t want to be and why you are there probably isn’t the best to deal with either. You have to remember that you are human, and what choices you make may not have been done in the best mindset. Being alone can be disheartening to many people, but you’re not always alone. There are people that can help you get through this situation; I hope you find those individuals who can help you. You deserve help and to not feel alone. Great poem!

  39. eleni on February 5, 2023 at 4:07 PM

    I have such a soft spot for short poems such as this. I think it’s amazing how much can be said with so few words, and it never fails to move me. This poem touches on heavy topics, such as incarceration within the beginning of the poem. “Stuck in this cage alone, knowing, yet, scared” creates an image for the reader and also is a good analogy for incarceration. Then, the poem moves on to touching upon what I believe to be the struggle of being away from people who are your support system, such as friends and family, with the lines “Barred from the help necessary to transcend”. Lastly, I believe the lines “My dad’s father’s Popa’s father’s pain, I feel in my heart” may be alluding to generational trauma and how that may have affected this author. Again, I am fascinated at how with such few words, a person can say so much. This poem truly moved me.

  40. John on February 7, 2023 at 11:41 AM

    This is very deep. I can feel the emotion pouring off of this poem. Everyone is rooting for you. Writing is a great way to escape and we hope that this can help you keep going. Your poems have an affect on not just me but on everyone else that has read it. I am wishing you the best.

  41. Annika on February 9, 2023 at 5:50 PM

    This poem is really well written as it really shows the reader how heartbroken the person is. I feel like this is an emotion or feeling that everyone experiences at least once in their lives and it’s really relatable.

  42. Nicole on February 12, 2023 at 3:03 PM

    This poem is very sentimental and vulnerable as you share your struggles. It starts with a cry for help and as you included the feeling of isolation you may even think crying for help may not be heard. Mental health is important and loneliness can painfully impair it, to the point where it feels like forever. Including your generational pain emphasizes how much you are suffering and reminds me of how apparent generational trauma is. Thank you for sharing this emotional poem.

  43. Kearsten on February 17, 2023 at 12:00 AM

    Hi AW,

    This poem is so deep and emotional. I’m sorry to read how much you’re suffering and I hope you are able to get the help you deserve soon. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling and what goes through your mind everyday but I hope you know that no pain last forever. I wish you all the best and I hope you find a way to ease your pain.

  44. Karena on February 27, 2023 at 7:11 PM

    I’ve always struggled with a sense of solitude just in my own mind. For you, it is incredibly different and I recognize that but I think the way you talk about solitude helps others, like me, find comfort in written words. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful words. You have incredible talent and I hope you are safe and healthy when you read this comment. Please continue writing these beautiful words.
    Again, thank you.

  45. Lan on March 2, 2023 at 8:45 PM

    This poem reminds me of Maya Angelou poems called “I know why a caged bird sings”. Both of these poems relate to feeling trapped and not know where to turn. There is a difference between feeling alone and loneliness but both are just as deadly. I know that your definition of a cage will be different than say mine but that’s the beauty in this poem. You wrote for not only yourself to relate to but for others as well. You truly have gift for this, and I hope that you continue to write.

  46. PH on March 21, 2023 at 9:37 PM

    I can see that you being stuck in a cage alone is just like an animal being stuck at the pet store. You know what’s going on yet you’re scared and that’s totally understandable. You can’t get any help which is a shame. You seek to rise up to the occasion to get out of the situation. The suffering is like a blindness that you can’t see like you were lied to. It was always in your conscious and instinct. You feel a connection and love between your grandpa and father which is a strong vivid memory.

  47. Marisa on March 24, 2023 at 1:37 PM

    This poem is incredibly touching. It greatly represents the limitations you are experiencing in your situation. The addition of your family’s emotions adds more sentiment to your work. I think this sentiment and your family’s perspective would be a meaningful sequel to this poem.

  48. Zach on March 24, 2023 at 1:38 PM

    Hi your poem is so great! I really enjoyed the spacing of your lines as they enhanced your feelings and the flow of your poem! I loved the imagery in the beginning with the cage, showing your audience that you feel trapped, rather than just telling them! This was great! Thank you for sharing!

  49. John on March 27, 2023 at 12:47 PM

    This poem is really well written as it really shows the reader how heartbroken the person is. Everyone is rooting for you. This poem was very emotional and meaningful. You don’t use a lot of words but there is still a lot of meaning behind what you say. Keep writing.

  50. Caroline on March 30, 2023 at 10:00 AM

    This poem is very interesting and amazing. I know it’s hard to deal with someone’s pain and it’s hard to see someone struggling. It’s also scary but i know you can get through this I wish you the best

  51. Samoht on April 15, 2023 at 6:59 PM

    Your poem is short, but it packs a powerful punch with its raw emotion and striking imagery. The first line, “I have been stuck in this cage alone,” immediately draws the reader in and sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The use of repetition, such as “knowing, yet, scared” and “father’s father’s Popa’s father’s pain,” adds to the overall feeling of being trapped and unable to escape the cycle of pain and suffering.

  52. Safwan on April 16, 2023 at 4:12 PM

    Generational trauma is such a difficult cycle to break. The anger, whatever it is be it a mental illness or a bad habit, is so hard to notice within ourselves and let go of.

  53. Bella L on May 9, 2023 at 6:59 PM

    Although this poem was short it held a lot of power, and to me showed the themes of generational trauma. You don’t want to disappoint the people who have disappointed you and to rise above the circumstances handed to you, but it is hard to do that and overcoming generational pain is hard and painful for the individual left with it.

  54. YM on May 9, 2023 at 10:28 PM

    Hello AW,
    This poem expressed a lot about the struggle and feeling of being stuck in a cage where you feel scared and seek help. The future is inevitable and can be terrifying. However, also explains the shared pain from your father that you have also endured/felt. It’s a very beautiful poem.

  55. LP on May 10, 2023 at 10:34 AM

    It’s hard to deal with feelings of entrapment especially on your own so I hope you get what you need to start feeling relief, and peace within yourself. This poem reminds me of Maya Angelou poems called “I know why a caged bird sings”. I know things are really hard for you at the moment but If you have hope and keep moving forward eventually you will end up where you need to be. Writing is a great escape from reality because you can create a whole new world on paper.

  56. Kate on May 12, 2023 at 12:20 AM

    I think this poem does a very effective job in its exploration of the theme of generational trauma and shared pain. The debilitating effect of this trauma is clearly seen in the author’s fearful and hurt emotions that are conveyed. There is also a powerful contrast between generational trauma (which is shared), yet the author feels alone, displaying the true effects of their family’s pain on them.

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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.