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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Born into foster care never had a father figure
No brothers no sisters didn’t have a mother either
Why’d my leaves fall so far from the family tree
Was mad at the world it seemed the whole world was mad at me
Shackled up on the bus on my way to court
Nobody in the audience where was my support
To this day I’m still waiting for somebody to come forth
Nobody has but I’m still waiting here of course
One of these days someone’s go’n show up on my porch
So I’ve gotta stay calm I can’t blow up on the source
I am a grown man going to show that I’m mature
And keep digging deep until I know I’m at the core
No I won’t stop until I know I’m there for sure
No guessing half stepping or just wishing on a star
It might look good the way I’m living from afar
But I’ve been cut deep you can’t see none of my scars
Either I can try to heal them or just leave them how they are
Or can change it like I’m drinking while I’m speediving a car
Once I get to thinking spend a weekend in a bar
No more eating overstepping got me pleading to the lord

I remember wishing my family would come back for me
When they never did that was a day I was too sad to sing
Wishing became sadness, sadness became anger
Not knowing if I love my mother how do you love a stranger
Now I’m confused like do I love her do I hate her
When she left was she really doing me a favour

Was I in danger did she think a group home was safer
Should I be mad, sad or glad and go up and thank her?
I’m starting to feel like Karl Malone and Gary Payton
Look at all those pay cuts and didn’t even win the Lakers
Remember filling up on porridge while filling out a wish list
Living in a mission all alone during Christmas
Being picked on by the biggest kids in the district
Being told by the adults Santa Claus never existed

Defiant as a kid oblivious to following rules
Never felt the pain of punishment kept a bottle of booze
My attitude was what have I got to lose
Every foster parent I had I shot em the blues
Like you’re not my real parents why should I listen to you
Every second every minute was bend and breaking the rules
Hop straight out the window be back whenever I choose
The worst thing yall can do to me really is make me move
Setting high and drunk foster parents did not have a clue
Because their own children were the ones they paid attention to
Always scored on my own no ones ever thrown an alley-oop
Screaming out for help and all they say is he must gotta poop
Where my family why am I so far outside the loop
Started running with a crew and was the worst one out the group
When it was time to go home didn’t have a home to go to
Only hope for me was maybe being able to go home with you

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Aaron London is a poet incarcerated in California.