I Swallowed

by C.


I have to swallow the time they’re gonna try to give me and more
And if I don’t try to swallow they will force it down my throat.
I have to swallow my family seeing me in an orange jumpsuit.
I have to swallow my responsibilities at a young age.
No messing around, no horseplay.
I have to swallow staring at white walls hours on end.
If I have to swallow one more thing I think I’m going to double over and puke.

If dreams die
I’ll feel like the Titanic sinking in all my troubles.
The last thing people will see are air bubbles.

Skagit County Juvenile Detention
September 2017

The “I Swallowed” poem was based off of text-poems composed by Xu Lizhi (a Chinese migrant laborer) while he was locked up in a sweatshop.