A poem from a father to his youngest son.

The worst pain I’ve ever felt
was looking at you, reach for me
through a video screen and I couldn’t
touch you; right then, I knew
what it felt like to die, a living

Copyright © 2019 by Timothy TB. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 21, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

This poem is published in partnership with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, an organization based in Washington, DC, that is committed to elevating and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by the prison system. Through creative writing, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, Free Minds assists members, who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults, in realizing their own potential. The poet’s last name was withheld on request in consideration of their privacy.