Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Illustration by Jillian Wesner. Source: Unsplash

When I thought about the dope game it was about all the money and fame,

But I never thought about all the hurt and pain that comes with the game.

When I was a teenager all I wanted was to be tough and cool,

So I started getting high and shortly after dropped out of school

And started running with the wrong crowd and selling drugs —

Man, all I could think about was being a thug.

When u hear people talk about the lifestyle it's all the good not the bad,

Or how lonely it is when u get caught, get locked up, it's sad.

Or how it affects your kids, family and the people in your life,

What about all their hurt, pain and all of their strife?

It makes u crazy having to watch everyone from the bottom to the top

Because as soon as u don't one will rat and get u popped.

There is no loyalty, honor or respect even in this game.

If u want to survive, u have to play by their rules and be the same.

People don't tell u about how it feels to be locked all alone,

Or how it crushes u not to have anybody to help u or even pick up the phone.

Or of all the years sleeping in a bunk alone in your cell,

Or that living this life takes u from heaven and sentences u to hell.

So before u start hustling or doing drugs u might want to stop and think,

Because when the cops show up it's every man for themselves before that boat sinks.

And meth is the worst because it has u believing everyone is either a rat or a mole,

And it will take everything from u: family, freedom and even your soul.

For most of us there are only three ways out — jail, prison and death —

So before u even get started it doesn't leave u with much choice left.

I've spent from 16 to 38 all alone and locked up in the pen,

Because of all my mistakes I made living in my life of sin.

So now I hit my knees and pray to our father up above,

To help change me and save me and to show me how to live and to love.

This lifestyle and the drugs will blow up your whole world like it was hit by a bomb,

I have let it take everything from me: my freedom, my family and my grandma and mom.

So I beg u to stop and think before u get high and get into this game,

Because I promise u none of it is even worth it just for the money and fame.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Audra Newcomer is a poet incarcerated in Missouri.