Character

The fountain is large with sprays of water like a sprinkler

in a 6 year old’s lawn.

 

The hard brick around the fountain reminds me

of the bed I slept on in jail.

 

Cracks in the fountain like a high school girl’s heart after a break up.

 

Every time I look at the water I see myself

a reflection of what I am now,

knowing what I was before.

 

Always bettering myself from what I was yesterday.

 

Broken down, beaten up, pushed over,

but still, I wouldn’t take nothing back

 

It’s made me the man I am now.

 

-C.S.

Rule 1 in a cold, hard, empty cell

Silent tears sing

an innocent girl to sleep,

but don’t make a sound.

Show no weakness.

That way, no one can hurt you anymore.

 

I hear it whispering…

…in my head.

The monster.

I can never get away.

Darkness seeps into my skin

and turns my blood black.

Insanity creeps into my mind,

and I hear voices.

There’s no escape from…

The monster…

Meth…

How can something so beautiful

take away everything you’ve ever loved?

 

Autumn 

The men come at night.

She numbs herself during the day.

Meth, heroin, cocaine, pills, alcohol.

She can’t remember a life before this.

In fact, it’s all she’s ever known.

She can’t feel what they do to her.

She turns her head away.

Her body shakes.

She’s empty inside.

The men beat her.

She welcomes the pain.

She hears voices sometimes.

People are watching her…

Inside this dirty motel room.

The only escape

is death.

 

Dear Father,

I still remember

the pain.

I hate you, but

I love you.

I still remember

the fear.

I still live it

especially at night.

I can’t sleep

without pills.

Without them

I wake screaming.

I can’t live

without self-medicating.

These men

they remind me of you.

Daddy.

They do

What you did

to me.

So it’s ok.

It’s what I deserve.

 

God

The creator and ruler of the universe.

As in: 7 year old E

prays to God

for her murdered animals,

fearing death

of her loved ones

and herself.

 

As in: 13 year old E

prays to a God

that doesn’t exist.

“I want to die.”

She cuts herself

to feel.

 

As in: 15 year old E

prays to God

from the inside of a dirty tent in the woods

surrounded by strangers

her body violated

by men.

 

She holds hands with the monster.

It won’t let go.

There is no high anymore.

There is only hell.

 

 

Things I Learn on the Street

They murder people here.

He said he killed 3 people

I watched a man get shot.

I ran.

Do what the men tell you.

Keep them pleased.

Or you’ll die.

Do whatever you have to do to stay high.

Sell your body.

Don’t run from your pimp.

He’ll find you.

He’ll beat you to death.

There’s no escape.

 

Home

I like to remember sitting on the concrete in the sun, smoking Newports

talking about life with a 23 year old woman who’s exactly like me.

I like to remember the love I feel when I’m with her, my brother, and her 3 children.

I like to remember those beautiful children and think that they love me.

I like to remember holding them close and spinning them in the air.

I like to remember the way they said my name.

I like to remember those walks me and Alisha took.

I like to remember that their mother says they cry and call my name when I’m gone.

I like to remember the night I stayed over.

I like to remember their sleeping peaceful faces I watched from far away,

smoking a cigarette like I was in a whole other world.

I like to remember the water balloon fight we had before I went away.

I like to remember the day I said goodbye to them.

I like to remember, but it’s easier to forget.

 

Juvie

I smoke cigarettes

In my dreams…

A world in flames.

Waking up in a cell…

The world outside my window

Distorted.

 

-E.H.

10 Things I’m Afraid of

 

  1. I’m afraid that my fams won’t be the same once I’m out
  2. I’m afraid that the people saying I won’t be the same once I’m out are right
  3. Afraid of not getting a job because of my felonies
  4. Afraid that people will look at my mom different because of me
  5. That my sisters will forget that they have a 3rd older brother because I’ll be locked up for so long
  6. Afraid of being loyal to the wrong person again
  7. More afraid of losing respect then losing my life
  8. Afraid of ending up like my father always committing crimes
  9. Afraid of facing the fact that I’m already there because all I see is my father when I look in the mirror into my eyes
  10. I’m afraid of myself deep down inside

 

Hopeless Love

I make you feel loved and accepted for once.                                                                                                           You come to me and I listen, helping you forget about all the pain.                                                                    I’m always there for you like the first time,

holding you in my icy embrace which feels so warm to you,

taking you away from your loved ones so I can have you all to myself.                                                         And when you’re away from me for so much as a day

you feel for my lust to wrap you back up and take you away

from all the horrors in this world that are too much to bare.

I make you put me before everyone and everything

because my one and only goal is to become the center of your life

making your world revolve around me.

I make you blind with my love to where you don’t realize

what’s happening around you or yourself,

people looking at you in disgust and concern,

not being recognized by the ones you once called family.

You sell your most valued possessions in order to please me

so I’ll stay and maintain our relationship that you’re so lost in,

even though it’s only been a week.

You lose everything

so I leave

because you can no longer please my expenses and my needs.

Now I’m off to go find my next victim

to fall in love with me.

 

Life in Juvie

Use to wake up every morning to a good time with my chick,

Now I wake up every morning to walls made out of bricks.

3 hots a day cuz that’s the way it is,

Even tho’ most the time its cold and hard to keep in.

But you really can’t complain when you locked up in the pen

Especially when you looking at more time than most these other kids.

Waiting for my letters only thing that keeps me sane

Just to find out I can’t read em cuz they was talkin’ bout the game,

Been here 700 days and still ain’t got no visits

Kats asking bout my case that shit ain’t none yo’ business.

Gotta watch out who you talk to never know who be snitchin’

Hearing punks talk bout how they hard but really they ain’t wit it.

Then you got that kat that’s only doing 30 days, ain’t no real time

Like most these other kats locked up on petty crimes.

Won’t shut up at rec bout how he’s hard, never lost a fight.

But wasn’t that you crying yourself to sleep the other night.

Shit if you was in my shoes you probably take yo’ own life

Cuz I’m easy lookin’ at losing 5 years of my life.

You’d be shittin’ bricks up in your cell

You see I need a whole bank in order to make bail.

Oh, can’t forget bout the bologna sandwiches as well that shit

Be making me sick or how the apple juice like crack be these kats daily fix.

I hate having to wear underwear that’s already been worn

It’s bad enough that these blues always seem to be torn.

I do my best in order to get my level 4

Spending most of my rec doing nothing but chores.

Wake up in the morning for showers this shits too early,

Soon as we hop in they telling us to hurry.

Then I ask for my score just to find out I been greazed,

Aside from still being a 3 I got the lowest score in the whole facility…

-E.R.

He Never Said It was Going to be Easy

Well that’s for damn sure.  I thought my life was gonna be easy until that one day my whole life turned around. Just over a year ago, I started coming up here. Thinking I’d never have a life like this sitting in a cell because some kid couldn’t just play it safe for a year and get off probation. Now a year has passed and I’m looking at a max of 2 ½ years of wasting my life locked up, leaving my family and going away.  I know it ain’t that long but still things can and will change, and the stupidest part about it all is my brother and my girlfriend are standing there right next to me facing the same bull crap, maybe even more. I wish I could just take their pain away and let them live their lives without these charges. But the game won’t let you put in those little “life cheats” to make it easy.

I sit in my cell everyday thinking about every little thing I’ve ever done in my 17 years of life, and I flip out because it don’t feel real anymore, especially the times I’ve been strung out on drugs thinking it would make my life easier, or make me feel happy, or make that moment that I use easier. But when I come back to reality and I’m sober for once, everything just starts to flood in and makes me just want to say “fml” or “ftw” and leave this world. But then I think that’s not the way to go. I have responsibilities in life; I have to look out for my brother and be there for my girl. So if life can’t be easy might as well make it be fun, without these charges. I guess that’s what he means when he says, “It wasn’t gonna be easy.”        -J.V.

Juvie is no place to be

It can make you lose your sanity

I already lost a lil’ sanity in me

It’s hard to replace

Being in this place makes me feel like a disgrace

I say screw the human race

Their lockin’ kids away

I’m not down with that, okay

This is not the way

Not the way it should be

They’re taking kids from their families

And they expect us to change our ways

Locking us in a cell alone for so many days

It don’t work

It just pisses us off

When we get out we’ll be far from soft

We’ll keep doin’ what we were doin’ and worse

The result their looking for goes reverse

The government needs to understand

All they’re doing is making us rebellious, man

Something really has to change

But there’s definitely no hope that it will change today

So for now I guess I’m gonna need to change my ways

Can’t wait till I get out, 17 more days

One last thing…do you agree with what I say?

-V.F.

Plenty of Times

There’s been plenty of times where I had to tell the truth or lie.

But the hardest time was when I lied to my grandpa about being sober, no doubt he could smell the Fireball on my breath, but all he did was sit back and ask, “Why?”

The hardest part was when I had to sit back and let out everything. At the end I said “Grandpa, I can’t do this on my own. The alcohol means too much to me, and sometimes I can even get it for free.”

The look in his eyes told me I had broken his heart, but at this time, it didn’t matter to me.

I was already way too free.

I never knew my drinking would get this bad.

I was only 16 years old, everyone was against me.  I thought, “This world is just really sad.”

I’d be gone for weeks at a time, drinking away my days.

My grandpa would call me, try to save me, but all I could say was, “Don’t worry grandpa, this is all just a phase.”

I knew I had let him down, hurting him, pushing him away, but I was lost in a world of addiction, I had nothing left in me to say.

June 9th, he got a phone call and they said, “Sir, we need you to come to St. Joseph’s.”

They told him I was found at the beach, barely alive.

The look in his eyes made me feel awful, it even made me cry.

He thought for sure, his little girl would die.

It’s been a month since that day,

But nothing seems like it’ll ever be okay.

 

May 23rd 1999    

was the day I met my best friend.

He held me so fragile, never

wanting to let me go. He’d push

me to do my best, and tell me I was

more than enough. Depression kicked

in at age 12, even in a crowded room,

I’d still feel so alone.

 

Age 13 I told him no matter how many

pills I took, I didn’t feel happy. He had

told me there was no such thing as a “happy

pill.” What he never understood was that

he was my happy pill.

 

Around him I felt nothing but love, confidence

and excitement. His small laugh as he exhaled cigar

smoke and would shoot me that fake teeth smile

as he rocked his right foot up and down. The littlest things

he’d do would change my mood in 5 seconds.

He was, and always will be, my happy pill.

 

Things I’ve learned About Myself

She tests people.

He understands her.

She pushes everyone away.

He tries to pull her close.

She’s lost in a sea of addiction.

He swims to rescue her.

She slips into a world of regret.

He fights to win back the girl he’d once known.

She feels nothing but guilt.

He does all he can to reassure her she’s more than enough.

She’s losing the battle within herself.

He fights with all his strength to help her win.

She finally surrenders.

He takes her hand.

This time, she doesn’t ever let go.

-M.C.

Nobody Want to Live that Juvie Life

I mean it isn’t too horrible but who wants to spend their days trapped in a cell staring at a white wall? Everybody definitely has better things to do with their time. They don’t want to be stuck constantly being told what to do like they’re somebody’s pet. We got better things to do in life but yet we keep winding back up here. Everybody always asks themselves why’d I do this or why’d I do that. Some people even believe everything happens for a reason, but you know, sometimes that reason is just because we’re all idiots who didn’t learn the first time so we just keep winding back up here and making life harder on us. But then there are some people who just can’t help it. It’s just a thing that comes naturally to them. We all need to make the best we can out of our lives and coming up here definitely isn’t doing so. We never know when life will end. Will it be today? Or tomorrow? It could even be 60 years from now, but we don’t know that. So start thinking before you do stuff. Actually move on in life and learn from your mistakes. Some of us kids don’t learn until it’s already too late. So start thinking now on what to do next in life, where to take that next step. Stop thinking that you’re oh, so badass because you do this or that; because how badass do you look when you’re sitting in a cell? The fact is, you don’t. So get a job, move on with your life, and stop screwing it up. You may think it’s no big deal but next thing you know you’re getting sent off to JRA for a couple years. Nobody wants that. So step up and be the bigger person for once. Be the one who changes, be the one who makes a difference and can be proud of themselves. Stop living the detention life and live your life. Any day it can be taken away from you. So go out and make the best of it in a positive way. Anybody is capable of doing so, you just gotta try. So what if you fail at it? It just comes to show it’s time to get back up and try again. Find a way to be happy with your life before it’s just taken away like a flash of lightning. Sometimes you gotta learn that it’s better to just walk away. Why risk it? I personally wish I could go back and change it all, but I can’t. It stays the way it is and can’t be undone, so why make choices you’ll regret later in life? Why not make a choice you can be proud of? Other people will be proud of you for it, too. It’s not too late now. Make that change, make that difference. You never know what lies ahead if you just take that next step.                                                                                                      -M. W.

When I Get Out of this Place

I’m going to look at life a different way. I’m going to be sober; I’m gonna live a sober life. I am 17 years old, unemployed, a dropout, (used to be homeless) now staying with my mom, an addict who loses the game more times than I can count on fingers or feet. I let it get to me, even when I reminded myself that it wasn’t just for fun anymore. All the times I wasn’t myself, that all I saw was my slim body, all I saw was myself losing weight and having a definite jaw line. I didn’t see the dark circles under my eyes, the malnourished look my body had, I looked worn, I looked sick, I was a thief. I stole from my loved ones, ones I had just met, all the helping hands were hands I took for granted, and I burned all my bridges. When I get out of detention I’m gonna try and restart. No, I am gonna restart. I’m going to get a job, go to school, respect my mom, respect all the helping hands, I’m going to have a life, I’m going to get back on my feet. I’m going to find who I used to be, because I lost myself.

-K.C.

 

Rap

You never used to think things would get this hard

Know u kind of feel like you’re living on planet mars

U don’t know what’s going on around and really could care less

The main thing in front of u is drugs at request

U wanna get back to reality but you’ve fallen so far

U need help and that’s the last thing you wanna ask for

You’d rather get caught up and look like a fool

Thinking in the side lines I’m really, really cool

I told myself I’d never be like my mom

But look where you are at?

Looking every day for something to keep me going

I told myself if I got to that point I’d always make myself stop

But I can’t do that, it’s not that easy, I really wish it was.

See, let me show you something It’s more than u think

You’ll think I’m lying but really this is reality

This is drugs and my family what it’s done all around

And really truly drugs never make you sound

They want u to think u are ok

That you’ve got it all under wraps

When really you are killing your family, yourself

But u don’t even know that

U want something to give u pleasure

So look to the drugs when really

Your friends and family should be enough

If I told u you’ll lose your house, lose yourself

Have no money left in your bank account

That your kids will be taken away

That your family will disown u

That everyone wants to stop trying cause

U keep pushing them away

Your family is scared to have u at the house on holidays

Maybe scared you’re gonna steal something in the middle of the day?

What if I told u your looks will deteriorate?

That you’ll look more like Marilyn Monroe on her death bed?

So let’s be serious

Do you really wanna live this life

If u really have a choice?

Absolutely not, that’s why we thought

That we can do it on our own

But please, really, come on

We’ve shown we’re not that strong

So ask for the help u need

Don’t be scared to be humble

You need to tell the truth to get anywhere in life’s fumbles

You don’t believe u can do it but guess what?  You can

You’re strong you are worth it and more than that

U have a reason

Life is amazing when u look at it in seasons

When u look at each day

And love who you’ve become for a reason

Take each day slow

Remember to pat yourself on the back

I wanna see you’re beautiful blue eyes

Clear and bright

Instead of the hazy ones 2 months back, see,

I love u, you’re worth it and you’re here for a reason

Give yourself the chance to find out the meaning J…..

-K.C.

Broken

Bro-ken

[bro/ken] v.

 

Disunited

Torn

 

As in: Being away from

My mom, my brother,

My family

Makes me feel like we aren’t

ONE.

Like we are broken apart.

 

As in: Stuck in my cell

Seeing shapes, seeing words

In the carvings, the broken pictures

That were once thoughts,

I see the kids’ minds engraved

Into this cell.

 

As in: How my heart feels

When I hear my mother’s voice,

When I see my mom’s face,

It doesn’t just toy with my emotions

It doesn’t just hurt my own heart,

So sad to say but,

I’m afraid

It’s broken hers already.

It’s hearts in pieces and I regret it.

 

 

 

 

This is my SEVENTH

Day

I had court this morning,

My mom wasn’t there.

She was the deciding factor,

Of a closer freedom or a lower bail.

It’s the first time my mom has let me down,

In years,

In forever.

I know I’ve let her down,

And she’s been there.

So I’m staying strong

And adapting to what shouldn’t be

My everyday routine.


 

Rule Above ALL

Never let your thoughts

Drown you in depression

Always keep in mind that

You’re not here forever.

It

Gets

BETTER.

 

 

Dear Momma

I miss you,

it hurts more this time

not like before

let me come home

I said I’m sorry

I even made up this rhyme

maybe I don’t seem so torn

but without you I’m nothing

all of this means something

I’ve learned my lesson

I’ve been here so long

please bail me out

I know what I did was wrong

$500 is so much

but I still love you

and I will keep in touch.

 

P.S. I trust you.

-S.

Guess Who I Am

I’m this guy from the tribe you call Lummi. Forget those cagey road clowns, I don’t mess with you guys anymore. I ain’t ever gonna roll with those guys ever again. They’re nothing but snitches and because of them I’m looking at some time in JRA.   When I get back I ain’t gonna play those games they’re playing.  I’m gonna end this game they got going on. I’m sick and tired of hearing my family going down from those same snitches. I watched my dad and my bro go to jail, and nine days later I come up on the same charge. I’m about to be a father here soon and I want to be out for my kid’s birth. It’s too much to think about when you’re locked up and it’s too hard to explain how much I miss my girl. I told her I’m done getting locked up, I need to change for my kid when I get out.

I’m gonna change for my girl when I get out because we’re gonna have our own family. I need to change and step up and be a father to my kid because I don’t want my kid growing up without a dad. I miss her a lot and it’s really hard on me up here. But when I go to JRA it’s gonna be like ten times harder. I’m gonna be far away from everyone I love, and I know I’m not gonna get any visits down there…

-K.G.