The Start of a New End


Age one, living life as a toddler lucky enough to have a father and mother
Age two, growing up getting everything I want
Age three, feels like I’m getting taller by the month
Age four, traveling with my family having fun
Age five, I hopped off the porch, started going outside
Age six, it became a habit, hangin’ around older guys
Age seven, God took my grandfather up to heaven
Age nine, got exposed into the street life kinda
Age ten, started observing everything happening on the block
Age eleven, I was eager to get out of school, watching the clock
Age twelve, I watched Apple take his last breath
Why he gone?
Age thirteen, got locked up and I caught my first charge…


  1. Patrick Castellano on February 14, 2020 at 1:21 PM

    This poem is very beautifully written, but has such sad themes. It is incredible how you could take me through the journey of you life in one poem. Thank you for allowing me to hear these words and please continue to write poetry. -Patrick

  2. Homa on March 8, 2020 at 5:42 PM

    This poem is like a timeline of events in your life. As we age, we start to understand and see the world as it truly is and our experiences can shape and change us. Everyone’s life is different and meaningful. Thank you for sharing your life and journey with others and writing down your thoughts and feelings.

  3. Arina Borodkina on March 16, 2020 at 11:52 PM

    Wow. This poem really painted a picture in my mind of growing up with innocence and just trying to learn your way in life and then suddenly it all changes. It must have been so confusing and scary for you to have dealt with the that at such a young age, so I am so sorry. I will keep you in my thoughts TC, please keep writing and staying strong. You have so much wisdom to give.

  4. Elisabeth on March 17, 2020 at 11:18 AM

    Hi TC,

    The way this poem moves from reflection on new life into intimate experiences with death is extremely moving. I am sorry for your losses, but I am grateful that you are now sharing your words.

    Thank you,

  5. Naana McBrown on March 18, 2020 at 12:58 AM

    Thank you so much for allowing me to hear a short story about your life. Your poem is amazing and fills me with both sadness but hope. Being locked up at a young age is something a child should never have to encounter, but I’m glad that you are able to express what you’ve been through, with words of poetry. Remember to remain positive and keep your head held high. Keep writing, I would love to continue hearing more about you!

  6. john on March 18, 2020 at 10:41 PM

    It seems like you grew up pretty fast, I am not exactly sure what you have go though but I pray that God brings you through.

  7. Sabeen on March 24, 2020 at 6:31 PM

    The poem is so beautiful. You can feel how you sudden the last event was when you gave it that break. Truely poetic, please keep writing. You have a talent.

  8. Maya on April 8, 2020 at 1:43 PM

    This poem was really beautiful because it made me relate you even though we had different upbringings and I was not exposed to the same things you were. It made me think of where I was and the milestones I hit at the same ages as you. I am not a poetry expert but i believe any good writing should allow the reader to reflect and relate to the author. Very beautiful poem, keep it up.

  9. Hayley on April 13, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    Hi TC,

    I really liked this poem because you examine every stage of your life and what stuck out to you as being important at that age. I like the way your lines seem to alternate between observing things, and then doing things– we learn from both. I also admire how even though you’re writing about ages, a lot of love is packed into this poem. From your parents, to your grandfather, to Apple. Even though the lines are short, it’s clear there was a lot of emotion and thought behind each. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Kayelynn on April 13, 2020 at 1:35 PM

    Dear TC,

    Your writing flows smoothly and you do an amazing job of telling your story for others to read. Readers can see the grief, the memories, and some of the decisions that molded you into who you are. To me, the poem also shows that life happens faster than any of us anticipate and that one moment can change your life forever. Please keep writing and I’d love to hear more about your story.

  11. heysyd123 on April 14, 2020 at 2:52 PM


    I’m trying to put words into how I felt. This poem was short but so was the journey. I want to read about the rest of your journey because it isn’t over yet. There is so much left. I hope you write the rest of it in the future because this was beautiful and powerful and I think it’s a story that people need to know about.

  12. Alejandra Martinez on April 17, 2020 at 1:50 PM

    This is a powerful poem of your youth journey. I’m sure many can relate to you. Thank you for sharing this poem and continue writing poetry.

  13. Donovan on April 17, 2020 at 4:12 PM

    TC I enjoyed reading your poem. The progression of each line characterized with your age and the corresponding events is a unique way to tell your story and it adds to the quality of your poem. Donovan

  14. Fateema Farzana on April 19, 2020 at 11:40 PM


    This is a nice way to bring up the chronicles of your life. It’s just a beginning. You have a long way to go and you can turn things around. All you need to do is just believe in yourself. Because the one who can explain him/herself like this has the potential to do so much more! Keep it up!!

  15. Tiona Lancaster on April 20, 2020 at 2:55 AM

    I commend you for being able to self reflect on “the beginning of the end” so to speak and discuss exactly how you got there. Self reflection is a powerful thing and I encourage you to do it often; could help you right a lot of wrongs, and prepare for a brighter future.

  16. Megan on April 22, 2020 at 6:19 PM

    Hi TC,
    You have such a way with words it gave me chills. The use of repetition and pattern as well as the simplicity of it sets it up as a great way to get the story and message across with such vivid imagery and yet there is not an extra word trying to pretty it up. Keep writing and telling your story.

  17. Gabriella on April 23, 2020 at 1:10 AM

    This poem tells the story of your life with an incredible flow. In just 13 years so much can change, there’s happiness, loss, growth, and mistakes. It’s 13 years but there are still so many more years to come. Thank you for this beautiful look into your life story. This is great poetry!

  18. Izzy on April 23, 2020 at 2:32 PM

    This poem is powerful. It is concise but yet your words have so much meaning to them. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Continue to write poetry, you have a gift.

  19. Haley on April 23, 2020 at 2:47 PM

    I love your poem. It is so personal and gives readers insight into who you are as a person. I also love your title. It is very well phrased, and I would love to read more poems relating to your title: “The Start of a New End.”

  20. Nikayla Kirchner on April 23, 2020 at 4:10 PM

    Hi TC! Your poem is so incredibly powerful and was chilling to read! I loved the techniques you used, such as the repetition within each line, and especially the shift in in tone in the sixth and seventh lines; I feel as though this perfectly encapsulates the school-to-prison pipeline within the black communities, and emphasizes how the environment can play a huge role in childhood development. The shift from the happy family memories to the downward spiral gave me chills, and I loved how you can perfectly describe the journey of one child through what so many children in our society go through every day.

  21. IS on April 23, 2020 at 4:41 PM

    TC, your writing is extremely powerful and you are truly an exceptional person who has endured so much in your life. Your poem illustrates some of the many struggles that individuals go through growing up. It is truly heartbreaking that you had to endure so much at such a young age. Through 13 lines you were able to give us a glimpse into your life, thank you. I hope that you are well and that you’re continuing to write today.

  22. Matthew Wootten on April 24, 2020 at 2:27 AM

    This poem does such a good job of showing in such a short space how a promise can fade, how an initially cheery upbringing can succumb to the pressures of life.

    The other day I was talking to a public defender about how most of the defendants he works with have a turning point in their life, like you mark in your early childhood. I can only hope that you have one in the other direction soon.

  23. Margot on April 26, 2020 at 11:24 PM

    Your poem is raw and real. With so few words, you are able to move your readers through an entire story. Your voice deserves to be heard and I hope this gets the attention that it deserves! Well done.

  24. Yesica Benitez on April 27, 2020 at 2:13 PM


    I loved the way you gave a timeline of what your life was like the first few years. I think you should keep updating that timeline as life goes on and your get older, that would be really cool!

  25. Kathy on April 30, 2020 at 2:36 PM

    I like the way this poem builds up powerfully year by year. It shows an appreciation of the things that work in the writer’s favor and the challenges that work against him/her. It leaves the reader hoping to know what comes next.

  26. Nadia on May 10, 2020 at 3:36 PM

    By starting each line with your age gives off such an impact and truly brings the readers. Furthermore, it takes them through your journey giving them an insight to your life. This is truly a strong and beautifully writen poem that does not shy away. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  27. Yenny Gonzalez on May 12, 2020 at 4:47 PM

    TC, I’m sorry you were forced to grow up so quickly. I can’t imagine being arrested at age 13. Keep writing, you have talent and a story to tell.

  28. N. B. on October 16, 2020 at 4:26 PM

    Thank you for sharing this extremely intimate and personal poem with us. I love the way you go by age, highlighting your innocence at the younger ages and allowing your reality to slip in as you grew up. Even with so few words and only short descriptions of what happens at each age, I was moved by your story. It leaves me wondering, as the best works usually do. What happened after age 13? Where are you now? And more broadly, how many youth grow up only to have their lives snatched from them in a similar way?

  29. Maria Griffin on April 13, 2021 at 9:42 AM

    My name is Maria Griffin, and I am a second-year student at Wayne State University in Detroit. This semester, I am taking a class whose goal is to engage with the community, beyond the university and corporations.
    Your poem, “The Start of a New End,” was a powerful one. I like how each new line too you through the life of the person you are describing, starting with a lucky one year old, to a not-so-lucky thirteen year old. All the while, in between ages one and thirteen showing sort of the “downfall,” of where things began to start. Starting at age six, things kept getting harder and harder until ages twelve and thirteen. This poem does a good job of encompassing the hard lively hood of some children and families living in low-income neighborhoods. These youth often grow up experiencing loss and needing to mature faster than normal youths.
    Overall, great job, TC! Encompassing thirteen years into such little number of words is impressive! Plus, not only did you squeeze an entire life into a poem, but you also did it with power and gave insight to your audience. Keep up the good work!

  30. Anna on April 16, 2021 at 7:27 PM

    Hey TC, I really enjoyed reading this poem. I can’t imagine having to grow up as fast as you had too. It was really cool to read your poem as if it were a timeline, learning what happened year after year. great job! Thank you for sharing this!

  31. Reilly on May 5, 2021 at 11:28 AM

    I think this poem really exemplified a child’s innocence being taken away. I believe your use of the age at the beginning of each line conveyed this very well. This was wonderfully written and I hope you continue to write!

  32. Andrew Fretwell on April 13, 2022 at 10:54 PM

    TC – the way you summarize your entire life up to the age of 13 through the context of your path towards being locked up is tragic and powerful. It makes it feel like your path was inevitable, like no matter what other details there were over those 13 years – you could count on two hands the most defining moments and factors that brought you where you are. I wonder if you feel that is true for you.

    The concept of free choice and agency and nature vs nurture are all dicey and I want to know your take on it. I also see here the running concept of loss here – your grandfather and apple. the reader is left to wonder if those gaps left in your life had the most defining impacts on you.

    The real power of this poem is that while you, TC, are unique – your poem has a subtext of “there are so many other people like me, that’s why this feels generic – so many of us stuck on a course we can’t fix”

    Thank you for your poem.

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