Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2020 Winner

Short and Simple

Imma keep it short & simple,

One day I’m out at CVS tryna buy some Pringles.

I pay with a dollar bill and some change

And the cashier doesn’t cash it.

He holds the dollar to the light and marks those coins.

I ask him what he do that for,

He said he’s just taking precaution.

I guess I got that,

But as I’m walking, another dude came in and bought the same thing.

The cashier didn’t do to him what he had done to me.

I started to get mad like

What about my broken glasses looked so intimidating?

Guess I’ll leave it there . . .

Got to keep it short & simple.


So I took my chips and headed to the train station.

15 minutes, I guess I gotta be patient.

That’s when this one dude walked up to me talking crazy,

That look in his eyes was distant and kinda hazy.

Dude asked me for four dollars and of course I had some cash

But first I had to ask

What you finna do wit it?

Nothin man I just want a sammich.

So I act like Bruh Man and say Cool man, here you go.

Dude looked appreciative and said God bless yo soul!

Then walked straight pass the sub shop to a man on the corner . . .

Gonna leave it right there,

Got to keep it short & simple.


Now I’m on the train goin home,

Sun’s down and I’m feelin real sleepy.

We get to a station that’s not mine,

But I still had to get off.

The police was there and they was pullin people off.



No White,

Oh wait there’s a female being pulled out now,

And Black too.

That was me.

They was tryna find a thief or something, but I wasn’t stressin.

I believed I was bless and I wouldn’t second guess it,

But as I’m laying on the grungy pavement

I remember this movie with Michael B. Jordan.

Something about a Fruitvale Station.

The stories end the same way,

With a BANG!

I’ll leave it right there . . .

Got to keep it short & simple.


Caden Turner-Adams

Benjamin Banneker Academy

Grade: 11


Ward 5, Washington, DC


DeLand, Florida

Favorite Author or Book:

Tupac Shakur

Dream for the Future:

To be doing something that impacts people in a positive way.

Inspirational Figure:

From my teachers to my immediate family, all the adults in my life inspire me to be greater than I was yesterday.