They Don’t Hear Me


The sound of my mother’s voice
“J.R. you are not dumb,
just pay attention”
as I sit staring at the math problems
the tutor has in front of me

but they don’t hear me

I’ve always had a mind of my own
ever since I was able to stand on
my own

but they don’t hear me

As a baby I tried to tell people
what I wanted
and didn’t want

but they don’t hear me

I would see my older brothers and cousin
run out of the house when my back was turned
because they knew I’d
I would tell my little legs
to move

but they don’t hear me

The sound of my mother’s voice
“J.R. you can do the work”

but they don’t hear me

Imagine being unable to express what you’re feeling
I am still that baby who is crying inside trying
to tell the people
that I know
what they don’t

but they don’t hear me

Here I am today still unable to tell my mom
how I feel because she’s passed on
However I still find myself talking to her

hoping that she can hear me

Because I can now tell her that
I don’t know how to do
what she wants
but can only do
what I can


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.