by Marlow Terry
Second place, Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2022
If I gave up my position
as the provider does that make
me less than a man?
Am I wrong for feeling like
no one can take care of mine
better than I can?
Am I wrong for feeling by any
means this has to work & if
it doesn’t by any means I
How about when I’m laid off
& my bills are not paid off &
the workforce won’t give my
criminal history a day off?
When the program say no the
budgets to low
am I wrong for not wanting to
ask for thier help anymore?
If I decide to break the law without
harming a soul & my situation changed because
of it do I deserve parole?
If I don’t understand do I have to be
looked at as if I can’t improve
with eviction on the line children on
my mind should I be feeling I have
nothing to lose?
When you fear what’s in your mind
is truth & its design is for you
only to relate to a black man’s shoes
then we don’t want your sympathy but
respect your empathy humanizing the
reality in which a black man moves.