Youthworker’s Poem

 I work with young men who are serving 17 plus years
behind tears and pain
mixed with enuff mood stabilizers to make anyone bi-polar
Their bellies filled with broken promises
nightmares, nonstability, abusive facilities
infinite probabilities but worst off shattered possibilities
but yet they survive
so its no wonder why they walk around
with that, “I dont give a phuck” look in their eyes.
Looking thru me, sometimes i swear i am invisible
I guess the same way love has been in their lives
So what gives me the right to be so damn complacent?

i try to convince them, that there is more to life than just trying to survive
One of them actually pulled me aside and said,
“Maybe you could if this wasnt your 9 to 5.”
i wanted to cry. I did later on that night.
Questioning should I put up the fight or was he right?

See I am walking that fine line between my job and that part of them
that reminds me of a time when I was just like them
i just hadn’t been diagnosed.
as the system’s wheels keep turning, their questions keep burning
boys lives being burried in paperwork
And then we have the nerve to wonder why they are so angry
Time is their friend. thats why they clutch to every minute
Truth their enemy. It is the constant reminder of pain unmasked
And im someone just working.

So how do i convince them that i take them home with me every night?
Convince them that love lingers in a job description that i took as an oath.
Not just any oath a soul and blood oath

Rule number 1: Dont get too attached
Convince them that the future is unwritten. That they actually have a chance.
Convince them that they are not a statistic.
Convince them that life isnt pointless

Rule number 2: Not all of them can be saved.
Im doing more than working with young men serving 17 plus years behind tears.
I am serving with them too.

Rule number 3: Some rules were meant to be broken

By Wallace Coar