No clothes
No shoes
No lights
No food
Child being raised by a child
Leave struggles with no rules
So no school was the road
Stuck in poverty nowhere to go
Just another lost soul
They don’t care to help
So we don’t care to do whatever
Stealing cars and rob just to feel better
The cells in jail
Where they rather put us
Instead of getting us real help
We just a product of our environment
We just trying to make it
They just trying to take it
But we hold on stand strong
Like a knife going through fire
We become stronger after the fire
Pain could become a distraction if you allow it
Pain could also be strength if you use it right
No matter what keep your head high
At the end it’s always light


  1. Mike on August 21, 2022 at 11:04 AM

    You end this poem with three very powerful lines. These are inspirational because we could use our pain and suffering and use it to help strengthen ourselves. I think that mindset could benefit us all thru our various struggles.
    And how you bring it all back by saying in the end it’s always light – nicely done. Hope you keep writing.

  2. Saron Worku on August 24, 2022 at 12:50 PM

    This is a wonderful piece. Your use of parallel structures gives the poem rhythm. My favorite lines was the, “Like a knife going through fire; We become stronger after the fire”. Such strong imagery of transformation. Beautifully done.

    The best advice I’ve received for writing is to not be afraid to kill your darlings. Take out the phrases or lines that you love but might do better service to the overall flow and feeling of your piece. Advice that I use often for myself is to avoid words like “so” or “just”. Oftentimes those words dilute the impact of our writing. What you are writing about is bigger than “just”.

    For example instead of:

    We just trying to make it
    They just trying to take it

    It could read:

    We’re trying to make it
    They’re trying to take it

  3. Anna Carpentiere on September 20, 2022 at 12:56 PM

    This poem is very powerful and emotional. I feel the pain, sorrow, and desire. It’s important to never give up and always be your true self. Speak up when no one else will, and be the person people look up to. No matter how hard of a time you are having there are always people who want to help you. They may not care about you know but that’s because you haven’t found your people. Stay strong. You got this and remember the best is yet to come!

  4. Olivia on September 20, 2022 at 9:24 PM

    This poem really moved me and brought to light the other side of things. Poverty is a huge issue in the world, and many people do what they have to to get by in life. The line “They don’t care to help so we don’t care to do whatever” really stood out to me. I interpret it as the government doesn’t care and won’t help, people are starving and losing their homes and they are doing nothing to help, so us being civilians shouldn’t have to listen to their rules. They would rather incarcerate those and put them in a cell than get them help and put them in a facility. The poem turns something negative into something positive by saying “No matter what keep your head high at the end there’s always light.” I really enjoyed this poem and the hope it gave.

  5. kayla on September 25, 2022 at 12:24 AM

    I like how you started off with the “no” repetition at the beginning of the poem. It really shows the importance of the lack of clothes, food, shoes, and lights. I appreciate how you chose such a crucial topic in today’s world. It made me think about my contribution to society.

  6. Julia Santosuosso on September 25, 2022 at 11:39 AM

    This work is so incredibly powerful. I love that you emphasize the fact that you were never truly offered real attention until you were seen making a mistake. I also love that as much as you speak on your troubles and hardships throughout this poem, you also make sure to end the work on a hopeful, uplifting note. That truly makes all the difference. Mindset makes a huge impact, and you deserve to grow towards the light that your soul craves. Let me tell you, this art is your light. You have a gift that you have formed out of your deepest pains and that is so wonderful. You have opened my eyes to what it means to be optimistic even in times of feeling entirely locked away and so far gone. Although I may not be behind bars, our minds can truly feel like mental cells at times, and you have encouraged me to break free from my own mental imprisonment. Thank you so much for letting me read your work.

  7. Eliza Jones on September 25, 2022 at 9:26 PM

    My favorite part of this poem was the opening few lines. I thought it gave it. really powerful start. The poem overall also has a powerful meaning behind it that I think is very relatable and your language makes it flow really well together.

  8. Jaxson Pawlowski on September 26, 2022 at 3:19 PM

    While studying in college, the number 1 reason for “crime” is low socioeconomic support. The legal system shouldn’t be locking people up for surviving and providing for their families, instead, we need to support them more to avoid people risking not only their lives but their freedom to save them or their families.

    I think this poem is powerful because it sums up the inequality many people face in America. It also shows how you can channel that pain in a way that motivates you to reach the light! This is some amazing writing and inspiring wisdom! Keep your head high and I hope things get better!


  9. Josie Kelly on October 3, 2022 at 8:18 PM

    Your poem did a great job of showing a common issue in the world today. It brings attention that the fact this is a reoccurring problem that we need to do better to fix. This story made me feel emotions because it was very deep. You did a great job of expressing these emotions.

  10. HL on October 7, 2022 at 3:14 PM

    This poem was extraordinarily powerful, not just in subject matter but also in voice, language and word choice. It doesn’t sugarcoat personal experiences; rather, it brazenly puts them in a spotlight with a brutal yet illuminating honesty. I can so easily hear the defiance in your voice, the cry for change, almost a battle-cry signifying your resilience and strength in the face of adversity. I love the transition of the tone of the poem too, how the beginning seems dark and fraught with difficulty but how the ending rings with hope and the sheer force of a human being’s will. I think my favorite lines are “Pain could become a distraction if you allow it / Pain could also be strength if you use it right”. It brings to light such a difficult, crucial truth, that the negativity and sadness and pain in one’s life can over time be reshaped into motivation and strength like a knife toughening in the face of flames. It resonated with me deeply and I’m certain it would resonate with anyone else who reads this incredible piece of writing. Keep up the amazing work! The world definitely needs more poems like this in it.

  11. Meghan on October 7, 2022 at 4:58 PM

    This poem creates a really strong feeling. Just remember that there are people out there that will be forgiving of you, and will love you. Find those people and surround yourself with them. Find the right people who will set you in the right direction, and you can change your life and find happiness. Your life is the consequence of the choices you make.

  12. Kayla MacLaren on October 8, 2022 at 11:57 PM

    This poem is about nothing specific, but it’s also about so many things. I really resonated with the line “They don’t care to help, so we don’t care to do whatever.” I relate to this because a lot of things that have happened to me people tell me too not talk about it or to not reach out because people will find out the secrets behind the closed doors, this gives you the inception that if no one cares what others do, why would they care what you do? I also love the line “pain could also be strength if you use it right” I love this line because I’ve never thought of this, but it’s so true. If you take your pain that you’re feeling and put it towards something meaningful then you could get a powerful result. I think that if you persist in working towards your goal then you’ll succeed. Love this poem please keep writing!

  13. Emily on October 9, 2022 at 9:55 PM

    The sad things is your right. There really isn’t that many reformation programs offered to inmates. I question your 3rd line. What do you mean by leave? As in leave from work? I just think there maybe a better way to reword that line. Nice job

  14. Oshane on October 11, 2022 at 11:34 AM

    A very powerful poem that talks about the challenges one faces when one grows up in abject poverty. It is true that we are indeed a product of our environment. Many people end up making bad choices due to peer pressure and the need to make ends meet. I wish that there were more programs to help those who face poverty, hunger, and lack of basic necessities so that they have a good foundation to make better choices.

  15. Mackenzie Curry on October 23, 2022 at 3:29 PM

    Hi NG,
    This poem is beautiful. I love how you put a spin on such a negative thing to make it so much more positive. Your positivity is truly inspiring, and I want to be as positive thinking as you. I find it absolutely disgusting the way there is no help for those in poverty. Why the government doesn’t want to help THEIR own people is beyond me. They are so into being a free country full of people that are all excepted yet unless you’re a wealthy straight white male you will not be excepted or helped in anyway. What I think they don’t realize is that they aren’t helping adults in poverty, but they also aren’t helping the child. The innocent kids who did nothing but be born in the wrong place, and your poem perfectly explains that. Great Job!

  16. Conor Thompson on October 23, 2022 at 4:46 PM

    Hey NG, after reading your poem I think the title being Untitled makes more sense than other title that would give off. It gives off this is how people like yourself are given off. Well you do have a title, its someone who is kind, caring, and also loving. I know when you get out you are going to do such amazing things, more things than you could’ve done before.

  17. Chelsea Bolan on October 26, 2022 at 6:53 PM

    Hi NG,
    Thank you so much for writing this poem. You really showed what it’s like to not feel seen. The title, “Untitled,” contributes to this overall sense of not feeling seen or cared about, no matter what a person’s been through. The personal experience that fuels this poem shows how someone can prevail despite this, and despite the systemic racism that feeds prisons.

    The beginning lines and rhythms are so powerful, and drum into the reader the harshness of reality:
    “No clothes
    No shoes
    No lights
    No food”

    I love how the rhythms and rhymes move the poem through to the resilience and strength that might be gained through all of this–shining all that light at the end. Very hopeful and inspiring.

  18. Ashley on October 27, 2022 at 12:41 PM

    These words speak to the true brokeness of the system and of our society. Your pain and distrust comes through but it’s followed with the determiniation to be better and to overcome. Keep an eye on the light my friend.

  19. KC on October 27, 2022 at 5:04 PM


    Thank you for sharing this poem. I sympathize with you, and I love the image you create of being refined in the fire. I can see the shoeless children you describe. I hope this poem reminds readers of our responsibility in society. Keep writing!

  20. Meghan on October 27, 2022 at 7:43 PM

    There is a lot going on in this poem, and it all flows really well together. I like the repetition you have in the poem because it helps exaggerate the important points. Keep pushing through all of the pain and unfairness, you will get rewarded soon. I like how you recognize that you need to “keep your head high” because it is a great mindset to have. I believe in you, you will get through this!

  21. Abigail Walsh on November 8, 2022 at 12:38 PM

    This poem begins by listing the basic needs with the word no giving a stong perception of a child in poverty. The line aa child being raised by a child shows a difficult start both for the parent and child. The child is stuck in poverty with no positive outlook shown by the “nowhere to go”. This poem tells a story of someone who has never experienced help and therefore cannot help themselves. They are a product of their environment that conditioned them to become a prisoner. The last few lines show they use this pain to become stronger, an inspiring message that is very powerful.

  22. Samantha Haviland on November 8, 2022 at 10:20 PM

    Hello, I think your piece is quite impactful. As a justice studies student we talk a lot about the cycle of crime that exists in this nation. How children are born into environments where they are set up to fail. Crime becomes a habit, an escape, of the world that they were produced into. Your work is an eloquent explanation of this cycle. Two lines in your poem say “Instead of getting us real help, We just a product of our environment.” I think this speaks greatly to how our justice system works, how we would rather put away a problem than help the people so they can thrive. Nice Job.

  23. Janashya Napier on November 16, 2022 at 5:22 PM

    This poem was indeed very powerful and it spoke to me. Poverty is a big issue right now in the world. The personal experience in this makes it just that more real.

  24. Jaela on November 22, 2022 at 9:12 PM

    I love how you expressed that fact that there has to be darkness before light. We all go through things no matter, no matter who we are. Eventually all of our struggles and worries will come to an end. Your poem was very well written!

  25. Nicholas on November 23, 2022 at 1:41 PM

    I appreciate the poem’s recognition of the cycle of poverty and crime. However, this poem speaks from the child’s POV, not the country’s external eyes. The idea from this poem is that when no one else will help, we must be willing to pick ourselves up from the rumble of our parent’s choices and the lack of resources provided for this child to thrive. However, the lack of quality provided for this child is consequential in a life of crime and poverty.

  26. Jill on November 26, 2022 at 4:21 PM

    I think this poem emphasizes hope and that even though things seem like they won’t get better, with time they will. In the last part of your poem when you said “No matter what keep your head high. At the end it’s always light.” really stood out to because it creates a sense of courage and to keep pushing because there is always light at the end of the tunnel whether we see it out not. We can always make something out of nothing if we just keep a positive head on our shoulders. Nothing will stay bad forever and there can always be a positive turn around if we are willing to stay truthful to ourselves and others around us. Stay strong and keep up the amazing work!

  27. Al on November 27, 2022 at 12:15 PM

    Thank you for sharing your poem and vulnerability! It was a very powerful poem that discusses about the difficulties that individuals face in time of poverty. It is critical for society to realize the responsibility we have to fix the brokenness that exists within. Truly such an inspirational poem!

  28. Pratham on November 27, 2022 at 6:51 PM

    This poem describes our broken system and society. It has excellent imagery and explains the daily struggles of struggling people very well. Thank you for such a poem.

  29. Andrew on November 27, 2022 at 8:33 PM

    I appreciate how you started the poem with a grim tone but later uplifted the spirits. The descriptive lines highlight how it’s a struggle for many in poverty to rise in society. It’s mesmerizing but also horrifying!

  30. Brielle on November 28, 2022 at 1:41 AM

    This poem was very powerful and emphasizes the injustice that many communities face.

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