Poem: “A Snapshot of Me”

A Snapshot of Me

I was in the fifth grade at my graduation
Inside my school lunch room
I had a big smile on my face
Because this was the first time I graduated from anything
And the last time too
I had on a white shirt and black pants and a black tie
I thought I was the best-dressed person in the room
Even though everybody else had on the same thing


  1. trey on August 11, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    aye yo ihope you get out soon and live a good life when you get out.

  2. AC on October 3, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Great poem. You put a lot into those eight lines. I hope you have another snapshot in your future that is even better than that day.

  3. kassidilenae on December 19, 2020 at 5:43 PM

    Thank you for your vulnerability! Never let others define your worth. Recognize your shortcomings, but cherish your accomplishments. Even the small ones!


  4. Grace Denno on May 4, 2021 at 1:36 AM

    I am a student in a community service course at Wayne State in Detroit whose goal is to engage with the community beyond the university. When I discovered Free Minds I was immediately thrilled to see the connections build around your writings and heart, and what you have to offer is a powerful and beautiful gift to the community. It was a true privilege getting the opportunity to read what is on your heart and mind, your desires and passions, thoughts, and struggles. You have so much to say, so much wisdom to give, and such deep experiences and desires to share with the community that people from all walks of life, backgrounds, beliefs, and ages can deeply connect with and affiliate with. Keep engaging with the community and making your voice heard. You bring healing, hope, and renewal of mind to many who have the privilege to share in your poetry. I love how iconic your outfit was yet how unique you as a young kid thought it was at the time. What makes this writing piece so special is that it really is a snapshot poem. It’s like you took a minute out of life to tell your friend about a funny story. It was casual, invititng us into the message as if we were there .

  5. HL on November 16, 2022 at 3:59 PM

    This poem is surprisingly profound for its length; you managed to fill a life’s worth of achievement, disappointment, expectations both met and unmet, and inner growth (not always the positive kind) in fewer than ten lines. That takes a lot of skill and a deft understanding of poetic form. The way you illustrate how your blissful optimism and self-confidence as a child has waned over time without directly stating so is amazing to me. A lot of the poem’s meaning is expertly hidden in between the lines, rather than blatantly exposed. I loved this poem, which was a piece of writing both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Please keep writing!! I’d love to come across more of your work in the future. You’re the type of writer who I feel like if I read a poem of yours in the future, I’d be able to recognize your style and voice immediately, even if your name wasn’t on it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this!

  6. aaliyah on December 11, 2022 at 10:48 PM

    Dear author, I wanted to start off by saying how amazing it was to read this poem. Reading this poem brought on a lot of nostalgia for myself, but it was also cool to hear story about something you remember so vividly; it shows that this memory is very important to you. I love the way you describe the full sense of what’s going on, from telling us you’re in the school lunchroom to what you were wearing and how you felt empowered, and very handsome really brings the image in our minds as the reader to life. It makes me feel very warm and happy to think about how happy you must have been walking the stage with your friends, and family watching you, and supporting you out of pure love. It’s a very heart touching moment in a child life. I know you say this was the last time you graduated from something, but that could all change. If you push yourself, and really have hope you can do anything you put your mind too. Even if you don’t graduate doesn’t mean you can’t expand your knowledge on your own. The power will always be in your own hands. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing poem and taking us back on a trip down memory lane to elementary school.
    I wish you the best! – Aaliyah.

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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.