Student Life

Marin Teen Poetry Contest

Terra Linda High School’s Jefferson Sosa, junior, was the winning finalist of the Marin Teen Poetry contest. Many students were encouraged to submit a piece, but it was Sosa’s poem, written about his father, that won the $200 prize.  As the winning finalist of the poetry contest, Sosa’s poem will be published and he will be invited to read it at the annual Awards Ceremony that takes place in Sausalito.

Sosa’s English teacher, Barbara Segal, says that “He’s really poetic.” Segal has known Sosa for three years and has observed that he keeps a journal that he always writes in because, “Jefferson has always loved writing.”

Sosa does not only write poetry, Segal says, “He likes to write poetry, he likes to write hip-hop, he likes to write rap. It’s really a strong way that he finds to express himself.”

Originally, Segal, made the suggestion to Sosa and they, “worked together on [one of his poetry pieces] and [she] submitted it for him.” The end result was a good one as Sosa just had to make a few edits on a piece he already had on hand. “He was happy with the way it turned out.”

Here is Sosa’s winning poem “Dear Father, the Projects

Dear Father, the Projects,

You raised gangsters, drug dealers, fathers, and dope killers in a home of saints,

But for every child who died alone; you weren’t there. You didn’t care.

Life in the streets ain’t easy; crack and meth racing at light speed,

While dead corpses investigate their own murder scenes.

It’s hard to grow up clean on these mean dirty streets.

Dirty as old paper, so thin and empty inside,

Trapped in a soul that’s forgotten its prized theme.

Thinking he’s a winner as they whip his back

With a gold chain around a soul that’s snapped.

See a youngster sapping syrup with Sprite in the streets late at night.

Is that what you want for your son, dad?

For him to lose his forever, but think he won something better?

But Father, you did teach a youngster to own his money, in a den of thieves.

Life’s a living nightmare, but I’ve been loved by the white hair.

You taught me to trust seven friends: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson,

Franklin, and Grant; all the respect I need from seven men.

You think you rule the world, but money owns your soul.

I lost my real father on a mission, that was his decision,

Killed on your streets by a brother, another loss for a mother.

Father Projects, you speak with a gun in your mouth,

The only true voice in a city full of noise.



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