By: Ruben Delgada
Winner: The Chai Prize
In the place I grew up in there were always troubles
that I never knew about until my age got doubled.
I grew up in a corrupt home, kept my feelings deep inside,
that’s why I felt alone,
criminal behaviour was seared into my dome,
because that’s all that I encountered
everyday I walked home.
My emotions were out of control so I started smoking weed,
did it a few times until I felt the need –
to try to get money just to succeed,
when I started thinking money,
I started thinking greed,
but I was too young to notice so I started selling weed.
I never went in too deep,
thought about where this would lead,
but by then it was too late
because I already planted the seed.
As time passed, my family was getting locked up,
seeing this happen more than once left my mind fucked up,
father figures behind bars left my heart roughed up and aching,
ever since then I despised seeing bacon,
so much so that I ended up being taken away,
bracelets put on me, left the days all grey,
life was getting to me, it was getting hotter than May
Even in pure darkness there is always light,
so no matter what comes your way you gotta always fight,
because you never know what might be pulled out of the hat,
bad decisions might be holding you back,
but you never know when a second chance can land on your lap,
you just gotta make sure you follow the map
because if you take the wrong path you might get trapped
with nowhere to go except for back…
* * *
The Creative Writing Contest is part of Ve’ahavta’s Homeless Initiative department. Every year, we distribute hundreds of packages into the street and through shelters, containing a sign-up form, a pad of paper, a pen, and a self-addressed envelope. We ask people to write a poem, a song, an autobiography, a recipe used to survive on the street… They have the option of writing a fiction or non-fiction piece. The possibilities are endless.