"Hear Me": A Mash-Up Poem by CAPE Students

























“Hear Me”

A mash-up poem compiled from poems written by students at CAPE.
Jonna Mastropasqua’s classroom, fall 2023 and spring 2024
Writer-in-residence: Eva Sierra

There is no such thing as full freedom
for a man who has served time.
The concrete floor.
The pale brick walls.
The chain-link fence.
For I have gone into the night wondering—
4 in the morning,
they’re ‘sleep while I’m wide awake.

I be alone.
I wonder how much longer it is ‘till I go home.
Do you know what it’s like to dream about going home?
A lot of people lose their minds in these walls.
I know you guys look at me as if I’m lost,
but I was put on a different path than y’all.

The streets are what attract me
but somehow they attack me.
The South Side ‘bad’ but that’s all we had.
Infuriates me when that’s what they call my
home. You are a product of your environment
but where you come from doesn’t make you
who you are.

I can hear disrespect in their tone.
I will be out some day.
Some of us are on the same route.
To the ones that are,
I hope you make it out.
I am my very own person,
one who doesn’t want to be like anyone else.
I am my own person,
one who only wants to be himself.

I miss going somewhere with no shackles.
I miss doing what I want.
Not what I’m told.
I miss my life.
I miss being free.
I miss home.
I wonder when I’m gonna leave.
Free me, because I’m stuck.


Excerpts from, in order of appearance:

Tomas V., “The System”
Juventino C., “What is Freedom?”
Tyriq S., “Dark Dreams”
Caiden L., (Untitled)
Ruben D., “Thoughts”
Tomas V., “The Poor Man”
Lionel L., “Try To Speak My Language”
Caiden L., “All A Game”
Antonio C., “Big Truck”
Lionel L., (Untitled)
Fabian V., “I Miss”
Antonio C., “I Miss”
Miguel R., “School Sucks”
Isaiah A., “Free Me”

Eva Sierra is a queer, bilingual poet from Douglas, Arizona. Eva's writing reflects their cultural identity, themes of childhood, mental health, and the realities and beauties of living on the border to Sonora, Mexico. Eva's poetry found room to grow at the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, and eventually becoming the program's coordinator from 2015-2019. In 2019, Eva and the late Isaac Kirkman founded 'The Reading Series,' a literary program and poetry open mic that weaves the occult into its workings and prioritizes safety, healing, and justice. Eva is also a teaching artist and has taught poetry writing and performance workshops at dozens of schools, libraries, literary events, and other community spaces across Arizona.