First Lesson

by J. H. (a youth affected by incarceration)

My first lesson was never to be a punk
But as I grew intimidation led to a sorrow butt
I figured humans aren’t games so why play with human’s fears

The mistakes I made don’t determine the way I behave
Knowing I’m a product of my environment the lessons I learned don’t motivate my change
It’s all about me and my lessons remain the same

A poem by an incarcerated youth titled “First Lesson.” Published with permission.