Poem: “If There Were More”

If There Were More…

If there were more things for the children to do in the community,
it would decrease murder, drug dealing from the youth.
Put recreational centers for them.
When the kids growing up and see people on the corner
with money and cars, shooting every night
they are going to like it
and want to become a fast money getter.

Look at it in a different way.
We are not raised this way
but people think children don’t see anything
but we see it all
then we become a victim of the system.

It took for me to come to jail to want something in life.
I want to be a firefighter or an architect.
But if there were more things for me to do in my neighborhood
I would not be here.
If there were more things for us children to do…

Instead of waiting, let’s take action and help the children,
so they can become successful and not disrespectful.

If there were more…

7 Comments

  1. Sophie on October 26, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    For me, the strongest thing about this poem was the way you brought up conflicting emotions and showed how complicated life is. I liked how you ended on “If there were more…” because it kept the poem open-ended and made the reader do his or her own thinking. It also mimicked the sense of despair or wondering what to do that the speaker of the poem must feel.

    The poem made me feel both sad and hopeful at the same time; sad because I felt the speaker’s despair at having so few possibilities, but hopeful because the speaker seemed to have a sense that there was something better and seemed to have a strong desire for a better future.

    For a second draft, I would suggest working in more concrete images. Instead of saying “money and cars, shooting every night,” you could describe this scene with action words and interesting adjectives. What do the cars look like? Who drives them? What does the neighborhood sound like? There’s an interesting rhythm and wordplay to “fast money getter,” so you could use more every day or informal phrases like this that sound catchy or alive.

    Thank you for writing this poem. Reading it and hearing both the speaker’s criticism of the system and their hope for a better future made me think hard about how we can all live better lives, and showed me how one person is taking action.

  2. D on November 7, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    It is clear that you are frustrated, but I feel optimistic that you have positive solutions for our own community. I hope that you will have the opportunity to see positive change come to your neighborhood and through your experiences I believe you can be part of the solution. Thank you for sharing your poetry with us!

  3. Loie M. Mead on November 16, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Your poem, “If There Were More” inspires me with its truth. I saw the young children whose parents love them and try to protect them. I saw them with eyes wide open, with ears listening to the fast talk about money, cars…I could hear the nightly gunshots. Through your poetry, I know the aspirations of young adults who should become firefighters, architects and more. In these “centers” with more activities for children to do, what specific activities do you envision? Might some family homes become the space to conduct meaningful recreational activities for neighborhood children? What else would be essential for the “success” and respect you write about? I would love to read your next poem, because I share your view, and believe that it will require all of us to help the children. Please persevere through your poetry to show the way to this society.

  4. E Sted on November 17, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    but people think children don’t see anything
    but we see it all
    then we become a victim of the system.

    Love these three lines. So true.

    Also, I love that you are commenting on your own neighborhood. I hope when you get out, you take your own words with you and think about how you can improve your own neighborhood- maybe even start a rec center yourself. Stay motivated!

  5. Krystal on December 15, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Your poem speaks so much truth. We are all hopeful with you and look forward to a better future. We must all continue to do our part to – as a wise man named Gandhi once said “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

  6. Dvaughn on April 13, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    HONESTLY THIS WAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY U ARE SPEAKING A LOT OF TRUTH IN THIS ONE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  7. kassidilenae on November 17, 2020 at 3:00 PM

    Your message is powerful and relevant! Children will seek out role models- both good and bad. We must strive to be the good ones. We must share our passions and our values with our children, and guide them in finding theirs. Keep spreading awareness and using your voice for change!

    KC

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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.