We Must


We protest in the loudest voice the injustice of the “justice system”
We protest our dehumanization
We protest our victimization
We protest our torture
We protest the harsh treatment by the “justice system”
We protest the harshness of the “justice system”
We protest the failure of the “justice system”
We protest turning humans into numbers and statistics
We protest a system negatively altered human life forever
We protest a system that destroyed human mind, heart, and soul
We protest….
We protest….

Our protest heeded no positive responses
We heard instead the calls for harsher treatment
We heard them say
In the name of justice we imprisoned you
In the name of justice we caged you
In the name of justice we took you away from your loved ones
In the name of justice we gave you the harshest sentences
In the name of justice we made our streets safer
(violence, drugs, and crimes rife still in the street)
In the name of justice we took your rights away
In the name of justice we sent you to be rehabilitated
(there is no rehabilitation to speak of, you mean we sent you to the most
prestigious universities of criminality, it is called and funded by
the “justice system” [prisons] there you will achieve the greatest
degree in the pursuance of crimes)
In the name of justice….
In the name of justice….

We wondered how they weren’t able to hear our cries for justice
We wondered when will they hear us, when will they hear our voices,
our stories, somethings must be missing?
We must reexamine and find the causes
We must take a look at us, at ourselves
We accepted and contributed to our tragedy
We seem to lose our sense, intellect, understanding, comprehension,
empathy, love, thoughtfulness, mindfulness, etc…
the cause effect of the “justice system”
We live instead in a state of delusion, illusion
We accepted to live in such a tragedy, because we let it affect us
We lost our purpose
We lost ourselves
We lost our inner peace
We lost our hope
We live in a state where anger, blame, and frustration took control
and paralyzed us
We deny our reality and live with the flow
We refuse to use the paddles in our position to paddle our boat
and reach the shore, reach our destination, instead we let the
currents take us wherever it wishes to
We will not change what’s happening to us, until we change what’s within us

We deny reality
We are not aware that the theaters long since it closed its curtains,
the audience long since they left, and the awards long since they
have been awarded, there is no need for anymore acts.
We search for the precious minerals, but we only find toxic and useless materials
We will not be able to remove the cuffs and shackles (not the physical ones)
that are restraining us, until we find the treasure, the priceless treasure
We all, each one of us have a precious gem and jewels, in our minds, hearts, souls, and bodies.
We must hasten in seeking our treasures, find it, refine it, produce and share it
We must stop chasing after the mirage
We must remove and break these shackles
We must not accept to live in such a tragedy, we co-founded ourselves
We must wake up.


  1. Conor Thompson on October 16, 2022 at 4:35 PM

    MH you speak with such passion and so much energy on this topic and I love how much care you have about this. I am a big believer in what you are writing and we need to finally stand up and do something about this. Its driving me nuts that there are government is saying we need to do something about what is going on and then doing jack. Thank for writing this again I really appreciate it.

  2. Mackenzie Curry on October 16, 2022 at 9:11 PM

    Hi MH,
    I found your poet quite intense and powerful. I’m a college student and in one of my classes this week we had been talking about the justice system. My professor described the Justice system in the same way you have here. I find that really interesting because there are two sides saying the same thing, someone with very little real experience and someone with very close personal experience of it. I personally agree with everything you are saying. Prison is a place that should be to rehabilitee not punish more. You’re all humans just as us, so you should be treated the same way. You should be getting the help you need not being put in isolation and making you have to figure it out on your own. Reading these thoughts that came from you makes me believe you are on a good path would is great! I wish you much luck on your journey MH.

    • Allison R. on December 30, 2022 at 5:46 PM

      This is a very powerful poem. Similar to Mackenzie, I am also a college student who took classes that focus on the criminal justice system. I can tell that you intensely believe what you argue in your poem. I agree with both you and Mackenzie. Jail and prison should be used to rehabilitate and not punish, however, in most cases that is not how they are used. MH, your words are powerful and moving. I could feel the rage you’ve experienced through your words. I wish you the best and hope you continue to write powerful messages to share with the world.

  3. Emily on October 16, 2022 at 9:55 PM

    This poem gave me a lot to think about. Your right, the justice system is backwards. It says it want justice and truth but sometimes that isn’t what it does. The system is a hole of never ending issues. But you really spoke to the target audience: the people that will listen to your words and understand what you are saying. I appreciate the detail and focus to telling your view’s on the piece. You tried to convey your story to the world without making it to specific to yourself. The message you were trying to get to your readers came through very clear. One of your blocks really was very impactful on me. It started at ‘We deny reality ‘ and ended with ‘ there is no need for anymore acts’. You explained not only the justice system well, but human society well. We are always feeling the need to act and this is the best way one could describe it. Your ending is one of truth and passion but a one that must be widespread. We must wake up in order to fix our global issues. Very well done MH.

  4. Shakera Lee on October 24, 2022 at 4:01 PM

    This truth behind this! The justice system is so corrupted and as Americans we can’t even trust it. Citizens are defending themselves from the justice system itself when it’s supposed to provide protection and equal rights. When we finally speak our truth with protects, consequences occur. This poem spoke truth and I honestly felt the emotion behind this piece. Absolutely loved it!

  5. Paul on October 24, 2022 at 4:34 PM

    This poem is dark and frightening and leaving me wanting to learn more about the true story behind it. Very powerful.

  6. Tiff on October 25, 2022 at 11:04 AM

    I love how you started in transformed throughout this poem and then came to the end in a state of self-realization. Your poem has a beautiful flow and message.

  7. ken on October 30, 2022 at 4:54 PM

    This is such a powerful piece that you have written. It is deep and thought through and I loved it. Your words are powerful and speak volumes. Keep up the amazing writing and never stop!!

  8. Abbie on October 31, 2022 at 9:28 PM

    The repetition of ‘we’ shows the need for help and a protest within a group. The poem is calling for people to join a cause. Each line starting with these emphasis the importance of this. The phrase justice system is also repeated targeting this as a need to change. The juxtaposition of injustices of the justice system shows how this system is flawed and not working as the words do not work together. The poem outlines these poems showing how this system turns people into numbers. This is a very powerful message. The use of we is also used in losing our hope, including the reader in the injustices causing them to also express emotions in the poem. This poem evokes a lot of emotion. It is also very well written in expressing the injustices in the justice system and the problem with our system as a whole society. it shows the struggle of incarceration and the need for change.

  9. Natalia on November 13, 2022 at 11:52 PM

    The path your poem took was very inspiring to me, even as an individual that cannot directly relate. The way you describe the reasons for protesting and the negative effects that a corrupt system created and then a call to action helped me imagine the time and effort that must be put into this cause and it made me feel empowered to do something and help in some way. I really enjoyed the repetitive lines as it increased the emotion and importance of each action and step. This is a very good poem, keep writing!

  10. Kristen Shave on November 16, 2022 at 1:32 PM

    The use of repetition in this work is captivating! Your purpose is easy to identify and so persuasive. Your use of emotion furthers your writing in a positive way, directly impacting the reader. I was particularly pulled in by the use of the phrase “In the name of justice”, as it truly is a phrase will duel meanings that made me think. Thank you for writing this!

  11. Oshane on November 16, 2022 at 4:46 PM

    Good Poem. Thanks for sharing with us your views on the justice system. There is indeed lots of things that happens in the justice system that doesnt always work fairly in the benefit of others and there is a call for speculation into the matters. I like that you bring up very valid points in your writing that sparks the reader interest to look into themself and the matter.

  12. Crystal E. on November 20, 2022 at 10:59 AM

    Dear MH:

    Thank you for sharing your gutsy poem, “We Must.” It is a battle cry for change in the injustices that come from living in mass incarceration in today’s society. I hope you continue to work to express your struggles and those of so many other individuals living in a prison setting through poetry. I admire your strength and wish you all the best as you continue your journey.

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

    The fight for “real” justice is a long and jarring battle you’ve shown in your poem. The justice system in America is corrupted and failing. The system that was meant to protect individuals is solely being treated as if they are the enemy. We need to change; we need to be better than this! Thank you for this poem. I hope you continue your passion of poetry and exposure to America’s problems.

  14. Jill on November 26, 2022 at 3:51 PM

    This poem is very powerful and makes a strong point that we must use our voices to be heard. There are many things wrong in the world today and we must stand up and speak up if we want things to change. I think your poem will make a difference in the world because it is eye-opening and gets people to think about all of the wrongs that we can take and turn into a positive hopefully in the future. Great work!

  15. Pratham on November 27, 2022 at 6:22 PM

    This poem was really intense. It brought to light some of the issues with our justice system. It also showed how the justice system has changed lives so dramatically. You speak with a very passionate tone.

  16. Brielle on November 28, 2022 at 1:25 AM

    This poem exemplified how the justice system focuses on all the wrong tings and not all of the things that really matter in such an impactful way. It was very powerful and eye opening- keep writing!

  17. Abigail Walsh on December 6, 2022 at 1:19 PM

    This poem is a representation of strong beliefs that call for change of the justice system. The repetition of the word “we” includes the reader and includes them and encourages people to agree with the cause. The quotations used to describe the justice system shows the contradiction of the word justice and how it lacks to provide this as it is failing. This poem is very powerful and delivers a strong message very charismatically. The effects of the justice system described is very negative and severe that show an impact on everyone. I especially enjoyed the way you ended the poem with “we must wake up.” It gives the reader a clear message and a way to act. The way this poem is written is extremely passionate and very well written that makes people pay attention to the issues of the justice system.

  18. Angela on December 10, 2022 at 11:28 AM

    Even though I cannot directly connect, I found the direction your poetry took to be quite encouraging. My ability to imagine the time and effort that must be invested in this cause was increased by your descriptions of the justifications for protesting, the detrimental impacts that a corrupt system produced, and finally your call to action. The repeating sentences were great since they emphasized how important and emotionally charged each action and phase was. This poetry is excellent; keep writing!

  19. Laura Haas on February 4, 2023 at 5:19 PM

    Hi MH,
    I really enjoyed your powerful piece. Your feelings expressed in the poem gave me a new view on the justice system. To begin, I liked the organization of the poem. The beginning part of “we must protest” started the poem strongly. It gave the reader an idea of what your writing would be about. Moving on to the “in the name of justice” part, you gave a personal experience of incarceration. It is important to express your feelings on a subject so prominent. Finally, in the “we must” section, you gave the reader empowerment. You opened our eyes to the failure of a justice system, and are motivating us to speak up. Your word choice was very motivating and persuasive, giving the reader a new look at an important topic. Thank you for sharing your feelings so beautifully.

  20. eleni on February 5, 2023 at 4:05 PM

    The author of this poem speaks with so much emotion and passion on the subject of the justice system that it really comes through to the reader. What the author talks about in this poem is very true. The justice system is corrupt and often times does not properly execute justice. In America, we have the right to peaceful protesting, which we are encouraged to do if we feel something is unjust. However, as this poem points out, “our protest heeded no positive responses” and “we wondered how they weren’t able to hear our cries for justice”. The truth is this is all we can do. We can protest and hope to be heard, but far too often, our cries are not heard. The poem points out that we as a society need to do more, perhaps protest more? We have created the world in which we live in and we must stop accepting the unjust conditions of the “justice” system. The passion in this poem is very moving.

  21. Jazmyne on February 5, 2023 at 5:11 PM

    This poem is so unbelievably powerful. I can feel determinism but also defeat which is raw and beautiful. I also love how you kept saying we. If we don’t come together as a unit there will never be justice. That we won’t be heard until we all stand together. To make a movement we need to be the movement and this poem describes just how much we need to come together. The poem how is beautifully written and displays the message. The sentence that hit the hardest for me was “We live in a state where anger, blame, and frustration took control and paralyzed us.” We really do live in a very negative world and accept that and it’s controlling. Overall, amazing work MH, keep writing!

  22. Dulce on February 5, 2023 at 11:50 PM

    Hello MH, this is a powerful poem with a message. It is clear what the point of this writing is. As a reader I felt empowered and made me want to be part of a change. The techniques that were used in writing this are so effective. Thank you for writing an inspiring piece of work.

  23. Ashley on February 6, 2023 at 2:49 PM

    I like poems like this because they transmit each of the emotions and you discover new ones such as frustration, power, making you reflect, etc. I love it

  24. kayla on February 12, 2023 at 11:27 PM

    Hello! I loved reading your poem. I felt a strong and affirmative vibe and, by the end of the poem, could really see that change needs to happen soon. Having a call to action at the end and having almost every line start the same was also a great choice because it left an impact on readers.

  25. Sophia S on February 28, 2023 at 8:53 PM

    This poem was very special. I felt the passion behind the writing. The use of repetition was very captivating, as well as the use of metaphors. I felt immersed within the poem, narrative and fight for justice. I could really tell that you tapped into your power while writing this and it shows through the dynamic sentences and lines. Great work.

  26. Peter Zhang on March 3, 2023 at 10:52 PM

    This is a poem about people who are unhappy with the justice system. They protest because they feel like they’re being treated unfairly and not like humans. But even though they protest, the people who are in charge don’t seem to listen to them. The poem talks about how the protesters need to look at themselves and try to figure out why things are happening to them. They need to find their own inner peace and not just blame others. They need to wake up and start making a change.

  27. October on May 9, 2023 at 6:58 PM

    I really loved this poem. The use of repetition is really, really powerful, and it’s even stronger when read out loud. A better world is possible; it’s just waiting for us to wake up and seize it.

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