For Luis

This poem is entitled “For Luis” and is based off of one of my more troubled students from Honduras–and also one of my smartest.

He has SO much potential and yet the circumstances of poverty, gangs, and drugs, keep him from rising out of his situation. I aim to give him, and children like him a voice with this poem. His name stands as a metaphor for all people like him.

Para Luis

I see your mouth,
Wide open as if to scream…

I can see down your throat
And into the pit of your empty stomach.

Something stirs there,
Like a pile of hot coals,
Spitting little flames
Up into your scrap metal hut.

Your calloused hands
Wrench your jaw wider–
Still no sound
Just the raindrops,
Pounding like bullets on the tin roof.

Bullets seeping through the cracks,
Making you shiver,
Making you lose hope, lose your voice.

But Luis,
Don’t let the rain wash you away.
This is your voice.

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