National Poetry Month: April 13th

April 13, 2014

I Write by Larrinita Starks

As I sit down on the bed and cut off the lights
I think about my life and begin to write
I write for the families dying on the streets
I am scared to lay down because of the gunshots in my sleep
I write because I am hurting, there are no more tears to cry
I am patiently waiting for my time to die
I write instead of using sex, drugs and violence to ease my pain
No sunny days here, I am kind of used to the rain
I write for the women who are being hurt and abused
And for the men who use them like throw away tools
I write for the young men that are gambling and selling drugs
Thinking the definition of a man is being a thug
I write about my past, and every bad thing I did
And the man that made me a woman when all I wanted to be was a kid
I write, write and write until I cannot write no more
Then the question hits me, wait what is it that I am writing for?
No one listens; no one cares;
I can’t look over my shoulder ’cause I know no one’s there
Then people read my poems, they laugh, cry and smile
Then I realize my poetic ability is worthwhile
To every writer, “Please keep the faith–
And chase after your dreams, ’cause education is the way–
It’s the golden key that opens up the door
I am chasing after my dreams, so why not chase yours?”

Larrinita Starks, age 19, is an alumni of North Lawndale College Prep in Chicago. She has been a part of A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute for five years and is a peer advocate in her school and community to end dating and sexual violence. Larrinita uses her poetry to share her story of surviving childhood sexual violence and has presented at national conferences and events such as One Billion Rising. A college freshman and the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Larrinita As a freshman in college, Larrinita is committed to being a parent, a normal teenager, and a future journalist.

This poem was selected by Jill S. (Community Engagement Librarian)

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