Here is some selected poetry from our Positive Alternatives Through Home Services (PATHS) youth.

I Seem to Be… But Really I Am
by Christian, age 17

I seem to be in a lost world that I can’t find a way out
I’m the only one who understands me
People see me as a monster
But really I am a good kid who made a bad decision
I was at the wrong place at the wrong time
I try to stay out of trouble
But somehow it keeps finding me
It has me trapped
Every time I get up
It knocks me down
I am a bright young man
I try not to judge
In order to not be judged
I choose to be the kid that everyone has
Something nice to say all the time
The person that people look up to
Most importantly
The person my brother wants to look up to

Upside Down to Right Side Up
by Tay, 17

Something goes wrong
Then something gets fixed

Went from fucking and smoking weed
To becoming pregnant and drug-free

Went from ditching school and fighting
To making the honor roll
And receiving more friends than enemies

Went from getting cussed out and put out
To becoming stable and settled

Never giving up has brought me thus far
Being hard headed has opened my eyes

I Remember
by Gloria, 19

I remember when everyone doubted me
They said I was never going to get my son back
I remember when my mom disowned me
She said she should have aborted me when she had the chance
I remember when my dad almost killed my brother
He beat him so bad his face was a bucket of blood
I remember when I almost killed myself
Everything was reminding me of why I needed to be dead
I remember when I lost it all because of drugs
I thought they would take my pain but it added more
I remember when I had my son that day
I had never seen a baby angel before
I remember when my brother lost everything
He said I am a worthwhile sister who deserves it all
I remember when my son said I love you
He just made me feel so important
I remember when my mom said I love you while she was sober
She almost made my wish come true

by Harmony S

My dad was never in my life
But because of that
My big brother raised me
And I’d never change that for the world
I am who I am today
Thanks to my brother
I am strong because of all the things I’ve lost in life
My brother always taught me
No matter hard it is
You need to move on from the past
And it can’t hold you back
I can smile like I do today
Because of the hurt in my past

What I Would Say To You If Only
by Gloria, 19

I cannot be perfect so please just accept me
I feel so lost at this point
I feel like I am not even me anymore
I am too busy trying to be a person I am not
Who I don’t know if she exists
Please just understand I am not a perfect person
I know it is said God gives
The hardest battles to his strongest soldiers
But I am not that strong
I need a break

So please stop pushing me to be something
And just please accept who I am for once
Who knows you might start to like me better
If I may get my chance up a bit more
You might find out what a best friend just means
So please understand I am not perfect
So just please just stop
And give me a break

Give me a chance to show you
I am not just another Mexican girl
And learn that I can be more
Than just the person you want me to be
Please don’t torture me any more
With the things that happened way before
Learn that it’s good to just be you
And that I am fine just the way I dream to be

I just want you to understand
I am not perfect
I don’t want to be perfect
I never was perfect I will never be perfect
And this is exactly what I would say to you
If I could only get you to listen to me