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Recorded for Poem-a-Day February 18, 2019 Read by Clint Smith.
About this Poem 

This poem is published in partnership with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, an organization based in Washington, DC, that is committed to elevating and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by the prison system. Through creative writing, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, Free Minds assists members, who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults, in realizing their own potential. The poet’s last name was withheld on request in consideration of their privacy. 

Sometimes I Cry

I told a million lies now it’s time to tell a single truth
Sometimes I cry
It’s hard dealing with my pride
Not knowing whether to fight or flee
Sometimes I cry
Hard to maintain this image of a tough guy
When deep down inside I am terrified
If I ever told you I wasn’t scared I lied
Struggling to make it back
To society and my family
I cry
I cry for my son who I barely see
Due to these mountains
And me and his mom’s beef
I cry for my siblings who never knew their older brother
Because he stayed in the streets
I cry for my grandma who is now deceased
I cry for my life, half of which they took for me
I cry for my anger and rage
The only emotions I can show in this place
I cry for how we treat each other inside these walls
I cry for the lack of unity we have most of all
When will it end I want to know
Till then all I can do is let these tears flow

Copyright © 2019 by DJ. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 19, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by DJ. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 19, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

DJ

DJ’s poem “Sometimes I Cry” was selected by Clint Smith, guest editor for Poem-a-Day in February 2019, and published on February 19, 2019.