In his poem, "Cause I Ain't Got a Pencil," Joshua T. Dickerson describes some of the daily challenges children face through no fault of their own.

By sharing this our hope is adults will think twice and offer help rather than even more hardship.

'Cause I Ain't Got a Pencil

I woke myself up

Because we ain't got an alarm clock

Dug in the dirty clothes basket,

Cause ain't nobody washed my uniform

Brushed my hair and teeth in the dark,

Cause the lights ain't on

Even got my baby sister ready,

Cause my mama wasn't home.

Got us both to school on time,

To eat us a good breakfast.

Then when I got to class the teacher fussed

Cause I ain't got no pencil.


By Joshua T. Dickerson


© Joshua T. Dickerson