More Than My Crime


I am more than my crime,
I am more than my crime,
I had to say it twice,
Because if I’m lying, I’m dying.

I am a son to my mother,
A sibling to my sisters and brothers,
A dad to my children,
But is anyone listening?

My crime doesn’t define me,
Even though my conviction may stand,
I am “Pa Pa” to my grandchildren,
And to my Bae…I’m just her “Man”.

I am more than my crime,
And EVERYONE will see,
That I’m more than my crime,
And I’ll prove it once I’m free.


  1. Roxana on July 31, 2023 at 5:44 PM

    Hello DA,
    I just read your poem called More Than My Crime and it made me feel like I got to know you a little through your words. The poem makes me feel like you must be a kind and loving man and a person who is clearly much more than just one thing. I don’t think that anyone’s crime defines them. Your creative expression is strong and you are talented in being able to write it down and share it with the world. It shows that you are sensitive and creative. I encourage you to keep on writing. I am glad I read your poem today.
    Take care,

  2. Carol on July 31, 2023 at 6:25 PM

    Hi DA. Your poem rings so true – how we are all complex, whole, loving and connected. I am reading and listening. I was especially touched by your loving relationship with your family. Your poem is beautiful and touches the heart.

  3. Josie on September 20, 2023 at 5:46 PM

    Great poem and keep up the writing! I like how you acknowledge you “had to say it twice” as it lends an air of self-awareness to the poem. The second stanza works well, but that renders the 3rd and 4th lines of the third stanza to be repetitive – perhaps you can add something else to deepen your work. Love the evocative tone, though!

  4. Chloe Espinal on September 26, 2023 at 8:45 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed how you highlighted the stigma surrounding people that are currently or previously incarcerated. I liked how you really pushed toward humanizing yourself by being vulnerable and sharing parts of your life like your family. There was a lot of determination in this piece, and it was beautiful.

  5. Fran on September 27, 2023 at 8:30 PM

    Dear DA,
    Your poem is so crystal clear. It is a really good writer’s move to start out with that repeated line! But all your verses tell us how you are claiming your identity. Your identity and individuality and your promise!
    I love your poem but my favorite verse is the third. It touches my heartstrings. I think every reader of your poem relates to your plea- you ARE more, but is anyone listening? Yes, we are.

  6. Nandni on September 29, 2023 at 12:34 AM

    The statement “I am more than my crime” is really powerful. Oftentimes people judge us for one mistake and we’re put into stereotypes based on our outside. No one really sees the relationships and care we have for others. I think the poem beautifully shows how we need to see the incarcerated as more than just dangerous. We need to see how they grow from their mistakes and want to be better people for both themselves and their loved ones.

  7. Colin on September 30, 2023 at 11:42 AM

    Of course, you’re more than your crime. No matter what you may do or have done, our actions don’t define who we are! What truly defines a person is if they’re willing to try and make a change. As long as you have that desire to make a change, then you’re already halfway there! 🙂

  8. Morgan Schoenenberger on October 1, 2023 at 6:14 PM

    I love the positivity you convey within this poem. It may not feel that way but you are pushing your self to prove to yourself and others that you are more than the mistake you made. I feel like this shows real bravery and shows that you are trying to make a difference. I love the way you describe who you are because it makes the reader think beyond those few things.

  9. Ernest on October 2, 2023 at 1:06 AM

    One event in the past does not define one’s life, and we have the absolute right to prove it to everyone surrounding us. There are many people around us– our family, friends, that we love. It is because we love and value these people so much that we want to give them love, that we want to bring them joy by showing our goodwill and showing that we are too good human beings–a kind heart and a kind soul. And it is when we see our loved ones happy that makes our own hearts warm. We love these people, and we hope they will love us as well. It is with love that we find our purpose. We will prove that we are more than this. And we will prove that we are capable of love.

  10. DarkPheonix on October 2, 2023 at 1:23 AM

    Your poem carries immense emotional weight and speaks volumes about the resilience of the human spirit. It conveys a profound message about the complexity of identity and the multiplicity of roles that define a person. Despite the shadow of a crime, your words echo with a strong affirmation of your true self – a son, a sibling, a father, a grandfather, and a partner.

    The repetition of “I am more than my crime” reinforces the strength of your conviction, emphasizing that your worth goes beyond any mistake or misjudgment. Your determination to prove your true essence shines through, promising a future where your inherent qualities and relationships will outshine the past.

    This poem stands as a testament to the power of self-belief and the hope for redemption. It’s a reminder that everyone deserves a chance to be seen for who they truly are, beyond the labels society might attach. Thank you for sharing this deeply moving and thought-provoking piece.

  11. Donny on October 2, 2023 at 5:56 PM

    DA, I thought this poem was beautiful. The line “my crime doesn’t define me, even though my conviction may stand” is so raw and powerful. The words in this poem come from a man who will stand tall on his two feet.

  12. Aidan bridge on October 2, 2023 at 9:44 PM

    I strongly agree with the fact that one action does not define a person. People are much too complex for anyone to think otherwise.

  13. JG on October 4, 2023 at 2:04 PM

    DA, I love this poem. Most poems I have seen on here talk about wanting to be free and set things right and make a change in the world and be a different person. I can tell that you are telling the world that you are not just your crime. You are a human being, you’re a part of a family just like everyone else is in the world. People are for sure listening to you and the words that you’re speaking. You made this poem so strong and well-worded that you are trying to prove your identity to people that you are just like them and not one mistake defines who you are.

  14. Maddy on October 4, 2023 at 5:29 PM

    The actions you partake in don’t be fine you, the way you handle yourself does define the way you try to fix everything. The word choice in this poem really spoke to me, The line, “I’m a son to my mother, a sibling to my brother and sister,” made me think about my life and how this person might be feeling in their cage. The last sentence was very emotional, “and ill prove it once I’m free,” stating that they are more than what they did; they are still a person. People make mistakes in life, it is the way you turn them around that makes you the person you want to be known for.

  15. Salma on October 5, 2023 at 12:31 PM

    Hi DA. This is a powerful poem. I really like your message: you’re more than your crime. Your repetition at the beginning stood out to me as something that should be noticed, and I love how you capitalized “Everyone” in the last stanza. It puts an emphasis on the whole point of the poem. I also love the rhymes; it makes the poem flow well.

  16. Rhavin on October 8, 2023 at 12:22 PM

    Hi DS,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I agree with you, you are more than someone who committed a crime. You are a whole human being with thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and fears just like any of us. I think the idea that someone labeled as “criminal” is that, and that only is preposterous. I understand there are different levels of crime and some actions truly can’t be undone but I also understand people evolve daily. If we didn’t make mistakes, how would we learn? All too often in today’s world, we see things as black and white, and that’s all. Yet, there is so much more to see behind first impressions or rumors we hear. Every single person has character and learning how to manage that is not easy. In a sense we decide who that character will be, but we unfortunately don’t get to decide how other people will perceive it. With the ease of misinformation, people tend to read or hear something and immediately make a judgment with no room for swaying it. They don’t get to know the true person anymore, they just take what they see on the surface and run with it. It’s sad, and I’m sure it’s part of why we are all so lonely.

    Anyways, I’m going on a tangent here, but I wanted to thank you again for sharing this. I hope you are able to believe every word you wrote here. The fact alone that you are sharing this just shows we can learn and change from mistakes we have made. I wish you the best of luck!

  17. Sarah on October 8, 2023 at 3:57 PM

    I really liked how after stating you are more than your crime, you list all the things that make you, you. It is so important to remember that we are not defined by our mistakes, and there is always more to ourselves than we usually realize. You sound very driven and determined, and I love the motivation this poem brings. Keep writing, and always remember who you are!

  18. alexandra galsband on October 8, 2023 at 9:26 PM

    Hi! I love how deep this poem is and I can tell there might be a personal connection to it, and it was a very enjoyable read.

  19. Payton (she), 20 on October 10, 2023 at 10:07 AM

    DA, I really admire how you claimed twice “I am more than my crime”. The repetition of your words will manifest itself over time, and help you truly believe it. Because you are more than your crime! I am listening. You are valued in my eyes, and the relationships you hold are beyond you. Your family loves you and believes in you, and I do too. Everyone will see, but specifically those of your family, so keep them close. I pray for you DA, take care.

  20. Liam on October 10, 2023 at 10:11 AM

    DA, your poem really struck me. I think a lot of people in the world love to use labels and certain moments, usually moments of weakness or poor judgement, to define others. What they forget is one moment and a label doesn’t define a person. People are too complex to be just one thing. That’s why people change their careers, styles, music taste, interests, or even their identities. I hear you. I believe you. You are not your crime. Best wishes and keep writitng.

  21. Linzee on October 10, 2023 at 10:12 AM

    You are right. You are more than your crime. No one’s crime should define the human that they are. We all make mistakes and we all deserve a second chance. I believe that one day you will receive your second chance and reunite with your beloved family. I am sure your family misses you and is rooting for your success. Keep going!

  22. Matt on October 10, 2023 at 10:14 AM

    I get this as much as I can. Once you have done something or been convicted of a crime, that’s how everyone labels you from then and on. It’s hard to get rid of labels that other people, who usually don’t even know you, put on you. Everyone is a person who has done great things and bad things. We all make mistakes, but to be judged only on our mistakes is the real crime. I believe that we can all change, and sometimes we don’t even need to change, we just need to be on the other side of luck. We need to think before we do and try our best to stay out of situations that only cause more harm. I don’t fully understand what you’re going through, and I wish you the best, but if no one else says this, I love you. You got this stay strong. Keep grinding and become that person you want to become for you, no one else.

  23. MG on October 10, 2023 at 10:14 AM

    Hi DA ,
    I really enjoyed reading your poem. I love that you’re not losing your sense of self in such a place. I want you to know that we are listening and we hear you DA ! You’re already proving that you’re more than your crime; they’re just blind. Please remember that you are enough and you are loved no matter what. Keep your head up !

    Love ,

  24. Lilly on October 10, 2023 at 10:16 AM

    Your poem is so strong, emotional, and raw. I can feel the strength and feeling behind every word. You are more than your crime; I agree wholeheartedly. You’re human, you have a life, loved ones and friends, you’re your own person who just wants to live free and be happy. You want to live life to its fullest and give life purpose. Incorporating family into your poem adds so much emotion and it’s what initially drew me in. Thank you for sharing such a raw poem.

  25. aj on October 10, 2023 at 10:20 AM

    You ARE more than just your crime. I love how you repeated it. Continue to repeat it. Don’t feed yourself a lie of being what your crime was. Everyone makes mistakes. You were a family member, a boyfriend, a dad before anything. Take pride in the good you have done. That one bad thing you did does not take away from all the good you have done.

  26. Aniyah on October 10, 2023 at 10:21 AM

    This is a really cool poem and I’m sure many many many people who’ve been to jail or are in jail can really relate. My mom, for example, grew up an addict, went to jail many times on drug charges; she’s technically a felon, but a great woman. She’s been sober for 13 years now, but even then she sometimes feels like she can’t escape her past of being an addict or felon. Although, she’s doing just as good now as any other person who hasn’t been to prison or done anything at all in their life. I’m sure I can say the same for you because through this poem I can tell you’ve grown from your crime and the way you describe not letting it define you is really honorable and I loved it. Great poem!

  27. Maggie Claire on October 11, 2023 at 10:21 AM

    Hi DA! I enjoyed reading your poem about expressing how you are more than your crime. I believe that you are more than your crime. You are a son. You are a father. You are a friend. You are a sibling. You are a person. Your crime does not define you. It does not define your life. You are human, and humans make mistakes, and that is okay. You are more than your mistake. You are loved. There will be a day when you can prove to others that you are more than just a crime. Until that day comes, be the best version of yourself that you can be. Keep your spirits high in these difficult times. I wish you the best in your life ahead.

  28. Morgan on October 12, 2023 at 8:50 PM

    An incredibly powerful refrain and so many wonderful details that paint the wonderful people who have a chance to love you and see you for all of you. I laughed at a bit at the line to your bae, you’re just her man. It was a great choice that really made the poem have some emotional contrast that I enjoyed. I also loved the power of the last stanza- the conviction you said this with made me convinced, although I hope you know not everyone needs convincing. I am listening- and thank you for sharing this wonderful poem.

  29. Choudhry Ahmed on October 22, 2023 at 2:40 PM

    It portrays the journey of an individual who seeks to rise above their past mistakes, embracing the hope for a brighter, more virtuous future. The poem’s portrayal of resilience and the pursuit of a better life serves as a reminder that every person has the capacity to change and evolve, inspiring us to believe in the possibility of second chances and the inherent goodness within us all.

  30. Olivia P. on October 30, 2023 at 11:39 PM

    This poem was an emotional read regarding the author’s sense of identity and his sense of place. It made me think about how many people in prisons may be seen as only their mistakes, but they are more than that. The author lists out his many identities in this world, which draws attention to how he is not only perceived by his loved ones but also by himself. This poem was sad and made me consider the unfair treatment many people in prison receive. I like how the author points out that he will prove himself once he is free because it shows a change of heart as well as how he wishes to improve his life.

  31. IG on November 3, 2023 at 11:06 AM

    The repetition of “I am more than my crime” right from the start of this poem truly puts the reader directly into your perspective. Also, this poem felt very personal in the way you talked about how you are an individual and an influential member of a family and community- outside of your crime. Concluding the work in a similar manner to the beginning ties the main message of the poem together, something I enjoyed reading.

  32. Nicole on November 10, 2023 at 12:35 PM

    Hi Da,
    Your poem really puts the audience into your perspective and a level of empathy. Understanding and emphasizing that you are more than your crime helps create an emotional aspect between the general public and many inmates. Mentioning the relationships you have with many causes a sense of familiarity with many as everyone has family members they all love.

  33. Hena on November 12, 2023 at 12:15 AM

    Your poem powerfully asserts the complexity and depth of identity beyond the label of a crime.

  34. lamb on November 12, 2023 at 12:08 PM

    Dear DA, you are so right! Each of us is so much more than any one action/thought/moment. As I read your poem, I am so grateful for the heart and soul connections in your life that nourish and sustain you. You make a difference to those you love right now, just being here! You also remind me to slow down and remember that there is more to me than my job — thank you for that. Sending vibes of peace —

  35. Molly on November 15, 2023 at 12:53 PM

    I really enjoyed how you identified the different roles you play in your life, like son/father/sibling/partner. Sometimes it feels good to think about who you are to these people in everyday life when struggling with identity or life’s greater purpose, at least this helps me anyway, so I really resonated with you saying this. I also love how you repeated “I am more than my crime” because it reminds me of a mantra, something you know inside to be true but repeating it brings comfort.

  36. Claire Wagner on November 15, 2023 at 1:35 PM

    Hey DA!
    After reading your poem, I was given a different perspective. A perspective of how people who are convicted of crimes feel like that is now what defines them. I agree, you are so much more than a “criminal”. How do I know that? Well I can attest that you are a beyond wonderful writer. You’re also someone’s family and I know you’re a good dad/spouse/brother just through the emotion displayed in this poem. While it seems like everyone else may doubt you, I don’t. Stick to your word and prove to them that you are so much more than your crime. I hope you’re able to achieve all that you hope to achieve, you can do it! I’m listening.
    Claire Wagner

  37. Gabriella on November 17, 2023 at 10:22 AM

    Your poem beautifully captures the sentiment of someone who is grappling with being seen beyond their mistakes and legal convictions. The repetition of “I am more than my crime” reinforces your assertion and emphasizes the importance of being understood beyond the narrow scope of their wrongdoing.
    The lines that highlight familial connections—being a son, sibling, father, grandfather, and partner—underscore the multifaceted identity of you. You are pleading to be recognized for the roles and relationships that define you beyond the label of their crime. The tone of determination and resilience shines through in the resolve to prove yourself once you’re free. There’s an underlying sense of hope and determination to reclaim your identity, break free from the constraints of judgment, and showcase your true self to the world. In response to this heartfelt expression, I’d say it’s a poignant reminder of the complexities of human identity. It’s a call for empathy, understanding, and a chance for redemption. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be seen beyond their mistakes and recognized for their entirety, encompassing both their flaws and their virtues.

  38. Amelia on November 19, 2023 at 2:55 PM

    I absolutely love your poem and think it is so incredible. I think the repetition of the phrase “I am more than my crime” set the tone for your poem. I think that your self-reflection of knowing that your crime doesn’t define you is a great mindset to have. I think that your personal examples set an uplifting and hopeful mood for your poem and I see great things in your future. Great job on your poem, the words you chose compliment your poem well and provide a clear image! I enjoyed reading this, excellent job!

  39. Anna on November 19, 2023 at 4:59 PM

    DA, I absolutely loved this poem. It is so so powerful! The repetition was wonderful, and I am so glad you wrote this. I can feel your strength through your words and I am so glad you are aware of your worth. Can’t wait for you to get to prove it, wishing you the best of luck!

  40. AHB on November 20, 2023 at 10:41 AM

    The repetition used throughout the poem, “I am more than my crime” really emphasized your message, and sharing personal details throughout the poem was humanizing and worked to enforce your point. Thank you for sharing and spreading your message!

  41. Pooja Krishnan Menon on February 18, 2024 at 2:36 PM

    This is a powerful poem because everyone is human, and no one should be reduced to just their crime. The question “But is anyone listening?” is quite a contemplative one because the reality is that many people are not empathetic although they may act like it. Your poem has a great message to not label people by only a single action.

  42. Pooja Menon on February 18, 2024 at 2:38 PM

    This is a powerful poem because everyone is human, and no one should be reduced to just their crime. The question “But is anyone listening?” is quite a contemplative one because the reality is that many people are not empathetic although they may act like it. Your poem has a great message to not label people by only a single action.

  43. OF on February 18, 2024 at 10:18 PM

    Hello! I really enjoyed reading your poem. It was very deep and the meaning is beautiful. Everyone makes mistakes and we are not defined by them.

  44. Travis on February 18, 2024 at 11:16 PM

    Thank you for sharing your poem. I like the use of repetition with “I am more than my crime”. That line alone is very powerful in portraying that our mistake help us learn from our mistakes, not to bring us down.

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