Asher entered a poetry contest designed to give a voice to incarcerated teens. His poem was given Honorable Mention from over a thousand entered throughout the nation. I am including it below without any commentary or explanation. It is my son’s efforts at processing his place in life at this moment.

I Am, I May, and I Will

I am a fake, I am a felon

I am guilty, I am forgotten

I am inconsistent, I am patristic

I am reluctant, I am uneasily conducted

I am shameful, I am living painfully

I am useful, but rarely used

I am the same, never fazed

I may be a father, I may be a cheat

I may be a friend, I may be a double-dealer

I may be a filmmaker, I may be a prisoner

I may be a caretaker, I may be quick to anger

I may be a speaker, I may be mute

I may be a teacher, I may lack patience

I may be a preacher, I may be atheist

I may be optimistic, I may be pessimistic

I may have different characteristics.

I will change

I will break out of these chains

I will mend these relationships

I will learn

Understand, and comprehend

I will be me

And not follow a specific trend

I will succeed

Even believe, when things don’t blend

I will be different, watch me

It doesn’t matter what you say

Just stay out of my way