John Lewis


Dedicated to John Lewis, one of my heroes

I remember when I met you in 2001; when you spoke at my high school in D.C.
At the time, you told us “good trouble” was your motto
And what you stood for was equality for all people
Listening to you, I was inspired and sought to learn more
About you, but never forgot the day I got to shake your hand
The trouble I engaged in wasn’t good and sent me away
But I always remember your speech at my school
When I got to see the movie Selma, I knew your name would become more well-known
For those who didn’t know

You paved the way for many and stood on the frontline for a nation in peril
To change the narrative with many other leaders like yourself
When I saw the documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble” on your life’s work
I watched how you pushed for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and other laws you passed
But I remember the words that would forever stick with me
Which was when you said, “We only pass through this way once”
I took these words to mean how you fought for so much throughout your life
That you’ll get to do once and leave the legacy behind of what you have done to live on

You got the chance to witness the rise of a new movement
And encourage us all to continue the fight
And kept your voice heard by all, even while sick
So I honor you, look up to you, and will never forget all you have done for the cause
And all people throughout your life on this Earth
May your name live on, and may you rest in paradise



  1. Samantha on June 29, 2021 at 8:34 PM


    I love that you were so encouraged and inspired by John Lewis as many of us are!! I loved the journey you took us through with this poem and how meeting John Lewis still has an impact on you today! Nice work!



  2. Bria Tolson on July 5, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    Hey AM, I enjoyed reading your poem. I always wanted to look up to someone so that I could have some sort of guidance or direction in the world instead of having to figure it out all on my own for the most part but I’m really happy that you decided to look to John Lewis as being one of your heroes. I did not know much about him until after he passed unfortunately but I always remember hearing his name when the discussion of civil rights came up so I feel like he probably was just as great as everyone says that he is. And the quote that you got from Mr. Lewis “We only pass through this way once” is something I’ll take with me and apply to the rest of my life”

  3. Brittani Forman on July 13, 2021 at 6:24 PM

    Hi AM,
    Nice poem. I like the rhythm of it. Also nice subject to be talked about. Keep working don’t get discouraged

  4. Madison White on July 15, 2021 at 11:47 AM

    This is a wonderful tribute to John Lewis. What an incredible story that you got to meet him and hear him speak! I hope that his legacy lives on for centuries, and it’s work like yours that can insure his history and legacy are not forgotten. Well done!

  5. David Meyer on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 AM

    I think John Lewis is a hero for all of us, whether we know it or not. It was great to hear how your paths crossed and had a positive impact on your life. One day someone may write a poem like this for you

  6. Steve Wermiel on August 16, 2021 at 9:46 AM

    I knew John Lewis, too. I think his belief in the good in every person and the potential for redemption is captured perfectly in your poem.

  7. Jonathan Panton on August 16, 2021 at 9:47 AM

    That was a beautiful dedication to an American hero

  8. Katie on August 16, 2021 at 10:05 AM

    AM, your love for John Lewis is apparent and admirable. He was a hero to many, and he did so much good by making trouble, which is inspiring for young activists everywhere. I am sure that John would love the tribute that you wrote for him, and I hope that he continues to inspire you.

  9. Adriana on August 19, 2021 at 10:27 AM

    I really like how you compared and contrasted your life to Lewis’ motto of good trouble and all of the leaps and milestones he made, it was very cool to hear how you once even met him in person! The lines about the legacy one leaves and how you only get a one way ticket during life are also very impactful and resonate with the larger human question “what is the secret to life?” I think you’re an amazing writer and definitely did John Lewis proud.

  10. Sophie on August 19, 2021 at 10:28 AM

    I hadn’t heard of John Lewis before this, but I’m now incredibly interested in who he was and what he did. I feel like it’s moments like this that mean so much to people’s legacies. Your recollection helps his memory live on, and that’s the greatest gift you can give to your hero.

  11. Joy on August 19, 2021 at 10:30 AM

    I love this poem and your tribute to John Lewis. He was truly a remarkable man in this world, an inspiration to many, and thank you for sharing how he has influenced your life.

  12. Amma on August 19, 2021 at 10:41 AM

    Hi AM– this is such a great tribute to John Lewis. I especially like the way you connected his legacy to what’s happening right now with the Black Lives Matter movement. Great work on this poem– I hope to read more from you!

  13. Simon Moskovitz on September 3, 2021 at 6:43 PM

    Hi AM,

    On August 29, there was a huge voting right rally in DC and the memory of John Lewis was a big part of it. That’s great that you got to meet him. Even though you got into bad trouble at least you have the introspection to realize what you did wasn’t the good type of trouble John Lewis talked about. That said, you’re a really great writer. You have an amazing talent. I hope you continue to use it. You have a bright future and are a smart and talented person. I hope you utilize these skills toward good when you are released.

  14. Sanjana on October 17, 2021 at 4:10 PM

    This poem is a great tribute to John Lewis. Your style of writing is also really nice. Thank you for sharing an influential moment.

  15. Gitta Rogers on October 17, 2021 at 5:05 PM

    I love how you dedicated your poem to John Lewis. I know that he was a hero to many people including yourself. Your poem shares John Lewis’ legacy and tells a part of his story. Keep up the great work.

  16. Vern Blanco on October 17, 2021 at 7:25 PM

    I really enjoyed reading your piece. This is such an incredible and powerful poem that you have written. Well done!

  17. Bhavin C Narotam on October 18, 2021 at 1:22 AM

    This is a great way to honor such an amazing person. Good job and keep up the work.

  18. ken on November 5, 2021 at 5:03 PM

    This was such a powerful writing. You really did show that kids look up to older people and never forget the little things they do. Your reflection was so powerful and encouraging. Keep up the amazing work!!

  19. Ezra on November 19, 2021 at 11:56 AM

    This tribute is a beautiful ode to the life of a hero – you reminiscing about your meeting him was deep and I appreciate the meaning that his life had for you. Hope to read more from you!

  20. tnicholson13 on December 2, 2021 at 11:59 AM

    AM, I did not know much about John Lewis before he died. After he passed I had the privilege of learning more about his life and what he was able to accomplish. I am glad to have read your poem because it shows what John Lewis meant to so many people. I hope you continue to use the lessons he taught you.

  21. Maddie on January 10, 2022 at 10:53 PM

    This was an amazing tribute to John Lewis. It is so great that you have someone who touched you so much that it changed your life. Not many people are lucky to have that one person who just changes you for the better. It was great to read about how Lewis did that for you.

  22. Megan McTaggart on February 17, 2022 at 1:33 PM

    “We only pass through this way once” so make it count. Make it count for all the other people who will come after us. There is so much change to be had that it can be hard to know where to start. “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

  23. PA on May 13, 2022 at 7:28 PM

    Great words to honor a great man. I really look up to John Lewis too and his passing saddened me. At the same time though, it gives me hope to read how much he inspired other people. They’re big shoes to fill, but someone will step up, because I can see how many activists he truly inspired. I know you said you took a path of a different kind of trouble, but I want you to know I care about you and I hope you get the opportunity to make some good trouble yourself and inspire change like John Lewis and so many other brave leaders have done before us.

  24. Jocelyn Patterson on March 6, 2023 at 11:40 AM

    Hi, I love that you are so inspired by John Lewis. I love that there are people in the world that we can look up to and follow to motivate us. People like John Lewis push for change and we could always use change in our world.

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