This is the second installment of a three-part series of poetry from *James, an incarcerated youth.

Thinking Without Thinking

Why is life so cruel
What is its motivation
It’s too confusing
I can’t think about it
All I know is that I don’t belong here
Stuck inside this compound
Waiting to be free
The reason I’m here is cuz I didn’t think
I just acted
Never thinking about the consequences
Never thinking period
Life is cruel
Only to the people that deserve cruelness
I am one of those people
Because I was thinking without thinking


*James is an incarcerated youth who participated in Performing Arts Workshop’s creative writing class. Each year, the Workshop partners with juvenile hall to provide youth with an opportunity to learn critical thinking and creative expression during their incarceration.

*The student author’s name has been changed.

If you liked this, you might be interested in:
1. Student Poetry: One Student’s View From the Inside (Part 1)
2. Gene Marks misses the mark