Justice in Life by Gary R. Hess – A Slam Poem

“Justice in Life”
by Gary R. Hess

I knew a man who grew up poor
in a small town in rural America.
His parents worked hard and provided
but they still struggled.
This man was molested when he was little
and harassed while at school.
He walked through life with his head down,
his shoulders curled,
and a frown upon his lips.

No one knew his hardships.
No one knew what he faced.
And when he arrived to adulthood
he was called lazy
all because he, too, was poor.
Working two jobs and odd jobs
he struggled.
Making near minimum wage
in a city is hell.
Living his life, he thought, was hell.
And when he finally thought
he got his break,
got his girl,
and got his life settled
he became ill.

You see, when you’re in America
and don’t have money,
paying bills is a struggle,
living is a struggle,
and even dying, too, is a struggle.

He died three months later
in a small house
in a small town
surrounded by no one.
Not even me.

Gary R. Hess

Gary was born and raised on a small farm in rural Kansas. Today, he is teaching various nationalities English in Southeast Asia.


  1. Powerful poem Gary. You read it well and the combination of word and sound is very effective. Thank you for pointing out the daily realities of those who aren’t rich.

    • Wow, thank you Mr. Roger Moore. I feel honored that you took the time to listen. Thank you for your kind words. I am a fan of yours.

  2. I tried to click and reply, but got shut out. Keep writing, You have good things to say and say them well. I am Roger, by the way! Thank you for being a fan of the man who is now your fan!

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