My Poem to Y’all


I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Can’t write home, cuz Mom NEVER write back

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Baby mother block the jail phone, can’t speak to my daughter
because she messing with another dude

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Don’t have no money, can’t go to commissary
and only get $5.21 every month
for a excellent job I do

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
The officer’s racist, they tie you up
and beat you and wait till you heal
and send you on another compound
and think that everything’s cool

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
I am going to stay Free Minded and
kill them with kindness, that’s what I am
going to do

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
I’m staying positive and have to just
find me a positive crew


  1. Erik Teague on February 17, 2020 at 2:05 PM

    I feel the pain. Just a few short weeks ago, Dec 2019 I was wondering if it would EVER get better? Well I’m at the halfway house, but I am not so sure about better, :/, anywho??? I know the pain…

  2. Patrick on February 19, 2020 at 5:58 PM


    This is truly an incredible poem. It is amazing the way you had always turn the other cheek, even though your story may have be facing some road blocks. Always try to keep a sound mind because they can never break you if you’re mentally strong. Thank you for sharing your story. -Pat

  3. Ian on April 8, 2020 at 1:45 PM

    There is a lot of pain in this story, and yet sadness and pain do not consume the whole work. I can tell that despite being faced with absolutely horrifying conditions you are still mentally strong. I believe having an outlet like writing poetry makes sure that you do stay strong. I encourage you to keep up the great work, I really look forward to reading more of your work. Thank you AT

  4. Hayley on April 13, 2020 at 12:40 PM

    Hi AT,

    Thank you for sharing. I loved this poem because you think of all the possible options of how to spend your time and show you’re trying your best to make positive use it. You’re brave to continue to think positively despite everything you’ve been through. From reading this, it’s clear you have a big heart. Keep on writing!

  5. Alejandra Martinez on April 17, 2020 at 2:15 PM

    Im sorry for the pain caused and I hope things get better. You sound very positive and are doing a great job. Stay strong and continue to kill them with kindness. Revenge will only hurt you at the end.

  6. heysyd123 on April 17, 2020 at 3:02 PM

    Hey AT,

    Thank you for writing this poem. You are a really great writer. I could hear your frustration and pain and fear in this poem. Thank you for putting a piece of yourself out there and being vulnerable.

  7. Fateema Farzana on April 18, 2020 at 11:37 PM

    You have brought up how a locked up person feels inside the jail, how helpless they can be which can even get worse because of racism. “Killing them with kindness”- seeing such strong mindset and not giving up is the best part that this poem teaches everyone. Thank you for the poem. Keep up the work!

  8. Gabriella on April 23, 2020 at 1:33 AM

    Thank you for telling your story through this powerful piece. I admire your inner strength and the way you’re keeping peace even with those who abuse their power. Keep having a positive attitude and sharing your truth.

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

    *snaps* That is EXACTLY what you should do! mind over matter always. You cannot allow the negativity to stand in your way of happiness because there will always be something else waiting to keep you down. Continue writing and stay strong!

  10. Catie on May 1, 2020 at 12:12 PM

    After reading your poem I found it truly amazing how you took the brutality and the negativity of your surroundings and turned them into motivation to remain kind and to continue to give to those who do not seem to deserve kindness. It is with this mindset and attitude that I believe you will find your “positive crew,” and I hope that with these people surrounding you, things will get better. Thank you for allowing us to hear your story. Trust me when I say, we are listening.

  11. Sarah S on August 2, 2020 at 1:46 PM

    This is so hard and I don’t know what to tell you to do, because I have no idea what it’s like to be in your situation. But it sounds like you have the right idea: stay positive and try to find people who are good influences and can help you stay on the right track. I know my circumstances are very different from yours, but I do know what it’s like to be angry and frustrated, and to become very negative, and you have to not let that get the best of you, for your own sake. Even if your mom never writes back, Free Minds always will, so I encourage you to keep writing.

  12. JM on November 6, 2020 at 11:41 AM

    Dear AT,

    Thanks for sharing this poem– I liked the repetition of “I’m lock up thinking what I should do,” and that you took the reader through your mind at the time of writing. I especially like that in the end of the poem, everything comes together with the rhyme between “do” and “crew”– the quest to find people who will stand with you with loyalty and integrity is something everyone can relate to, and that way that you said it in this poem was filled with humor and joy despite the obstacles that you’ve experienced. This poem is inspiring to me because of your resilience and your emphasis on kindness and connection– I hope you keep writing and sharing this with Free Minds readers.


  13. Leenda on February 25, 2021 at 10:29 PM

    I think this was interesting because sometimes the mind is the only escape but maybe in this case too that positivity is also a prison that someone has to be force into because the the circumstances of their situation. It is interesting that maybe happiness is the only way to survival but it seems like also a trap in this poem. I know that this might not be what you were intending, and happiness and peach of mind supposed to be a negative, but its interesting how much dead ends this narrator meets throughout his life, that maybe it seems that there will never be an escape.

  14. Elizabeth on August 19, 2021 at 10:45 AM


    Reading your poem gave me a little look into your life, and how defeating it may be for you. It shows that although in every aspect of your life there may be trying to bring you down, you still manage to stay positive and write to your readers, which I think is amazing. Your determination and will power are obvious through your writing, and are very appreciated by whoever is reading the poem, because they show your strength. You reminded me to also try to stay positive, because family circumstances have made it hard for me to do so sometimes, and I really appreciate it, so thank you.

    -Elizabeth, 18 y.o.

  15. Ruby on October 17, 2022 at 7:04 PM

    Hi AT, reading this made me feel your pain and the struggle you’re going through. I’m truly sorry for the countless hard things you’re experiencing. I found it so inspiring and strong of you to turn from talking about all of your hardships to saying how you’re going to kill with kindness and stay positive. You are so incredible for keeping this mindset despite the spot you’re in. I could learn a lot from you, I hope you find your positive crew and keep on writing things like this.

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