“My Answer” and “Hands to Yourself”: Two poems by a Long Beach youth

Mar. 31, 2022 / By

A closed red book lays on a wooden bench. A flower lays on the book.

“My Answer”

That’s what you hope to spread
With your words
Half-truths half-lies
What does it matter if you get the reaction you seek—attention from strangers
Set a fire so big, so out of control
People have no choice but to stop their cars
And try to put it out
But find it easier and more fun
To make the fire bigger
Sharing their own words
As the fire gets bigger
More people leave my side
To help the fire grow
And I will stand there
With the water bucket, simply watching
Until the fire consumes so
Much of the forest
It is forgotten


“Hands to Yourself”

Thank you
For making me afraid
That when any man
Lays a finger on me, I flinch
And wish I could sink into the floor
What is it with men and always thinking
They’re entitled to me?

There is always an excuse
Friends, family even
Just because you’ve known me
Doesn’t mean you really know me
Or the baggage I carry every day

You don’t know me
Not really
You don’t know how I’ve been treated
To make me so afraid
To get close with
Or even speak to
People that aren’t me

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