Words Unlocked Youth Poetry Contest Winner: Jumbled

The Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) recently concluded its fifth annual “Words Unlocked,” a poetry contest for juveniles in secure facilities.
The Chronicle of Social Change published all of the winners throughout the week. We conclude today with the 1st place winner, “Jumbled.”

I started as a fetus, living in my mother’s womb
Grew into a girl, as I started to move
9 months go by, and I was soon born

My family felt lucky, my sister was proud
She was no longer alone, had a sibling now
There was four in a house, built for five
Life continued on and we fell –a nose dive

Started kindergarten while my dad was drinking a beer
Mom had to take me, daddy was too drunk
Oblivious as to why, just knew he couldn’t come
They fell out of love and daddy was soaked in sorrow and rum

My dad got a girlfriend who had a son
He started to touch me and said it was fun
Didn’t tell daddy, he was too drunk
Didn’t tell mom, she was in a funk
My life continued on I had a new title to my name
a victim of a brother’s “love”, a victim of shame

Daddy’s little girl grew up to fast
13 years old and started to crash
Started to smoke, drink, run
Lost my virginity, to a boy with a gun
Went to parties with a hope to find love
Looking in all the wrong places, only found thugs

No longer a victim, but an addict too
The names kept coming
Became a scrooge
Started to shoot up dope, owed the dealer
I gave him my body and seethed
Had older men on top of me doing all sorts of stuff
Some were soft and some were rough

I wanted out, he wouldn’t let me go
He told me to shut the fuck up
Before he puts a bullet in my head
Still breathing, but I’m so fucking fed
Up to here with this bullshit, feel so alone
nobody wants me, but I still go home

Got locked up for stealing a car
For running away, and going too far
Officially missing not heard of or seen
Gone like the wind at the age of 15
Came back home not looking the same
Very sick, with a lot of shame.

Know I am more than what I think and more that what I was
I am a sister, a daughter and someone’s love
I am so many things, a complete diversity
a criminal,
a victim,
a thief,
a sister,
a lover,
a whore
a daughter,
a fighter.

These words are my story
You can read it as so
As this is delivered, know I resisted
Nevertheless – I persisted.

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