30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner

Johnny was a good boy 

coulda been a teacher
coulda been a preacher
coulda been a president
but was an resident (evil)

Johnny would to no advice heed
nor be known for any good deed

vices tickled Johnny
weed was his definition of good time.
Johnny mingled with urchins
Johnny was loud, lewd and nonchalant

“Johnny, oh Johnny!”

His mamma wept and prayed God
“Save my Johnny, Lord. Won’t you?”
but the Lord would none of his mama’s pleah heed?

Johnny robbed
Johnny bullied
Johnny killed
Johnny terrorized
A nuisance he became
A societal blight was Johnny

Mama cried,
Johnny puffed and laughed.
Mama kneel and pleaded
“Turn a new leaf, son Johnny”
but Johnny lighted another weed
and his crime exceeded

Johnny cup of inquiry a brim full became
Johnny cared less as though he knew naught.
Johnny went a-robbery.
Johnny was tracked by the cops
Johnny was gunned down
Johnny’s life was puffed away in smokes

Johnny’s mama cried herself to sleep

Johnny could be you
Johnny could be someone close to you

you can be a teacher
you can be a preacher
you can be the president
don’t be another resident (evil)


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Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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