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Below is the poem entitled 19 which was written by poet Jasmine Cameron. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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I'm 19.
That may not mean much to you but it means everything to me.
It means I've already out lived most of my friends and family.
It means I'm smarter than most in my situation.
It means with out hesitation I've given myself the modes and the means
To get what I want and do what I need.
It means I have more hope than most to leave.
I'm not the concrete rose.
I'm the dandelion seed
Ready to leave, waiting on a Gail or a child to come blow me free
So I can land in a better place to take root and take lead.
I'm only 19.
But I've seen enough black on black crime and self-destructive hate
To ever forgive the streets
For turning me against the mirror image I see,
Or for blinding my brothers so that they could not see that they're killing their own
brothers sons of their own sisters and mothers
Or for tainting my sisters with hate, replacing they're hearts with that of a snake, and
leaving them with no self-esteem,covering there eyes so all they see is green
For pimping our children making them turn tricks for treats, closing their minds making
them think "you better start rapping, better get them feet tappin or pick up a ball if you
ever want to get from me get from me" turning them into dancing, singing fools instead of
the future educated black enterprising leaders they need to be
I'm only 19
And already I've been to far to many wakes too ever sleep
Seen far too many mothers grieve and cry
To ever permit myself pity
Seen far too many holes dug six feet deep for those who have falling around me to sit idly
by and wait for mine
the one assigned to me by some stray bullet or how ever death sees' fit to take me
I'm only 19
I've seen enough
I'm done

Copyright © Jasmine Cameron

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