Jimmy Santiago Baca

(2 January 1952 / Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Like An Animal - Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Behind the smooth texture
Of my eyes, way inside me,
A part of me has died:
I move my bloody fingernails
Across it, hard as a blackboard,
Run my fingers along it,
The chalk white scars
That say I AM SCARED,
Scared of what might become
Of me, the real me,
Behind these prison walls.


Comments about Like An Animal by Jimmy Santiago Baca

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (7/24/2018 11:05:00 PM)


    A great philosophical poem nicely executed. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (7/24/2018 11:20:00 AM)


    Our real self is caged inside our mind. Nice poem indeed. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (7/24/2018 10:41:00 AM)


    The real me! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (7/24/2018 7:32:00 AM)


    jimmy is an albuquerque, new mexico resident as i am. i've met him, read him, and know something of his story. the prison walls in this poem are probably literal—that's part of his story—as well, perhaps, as figurative. i don't have anything much to parallel his prison experience, and yet this poem strikes me with blunt force. i think again that baca is a natural poet—poetry just seems to flow right from him. -gk (Report) Reply

  • (7/24/2018 7:00:00 AM)


    Scared of what might become
    Of me, the real me, ...very fine poem searching for the Real I and what can become of it.. thank u. tony
    (Report) Reply

  • Adrian Flett (7/24/2018 4:33:00 AM)


    We are thinking animals and imprisoned in our minds, 'Behind these prison walls' (Report) Reply

  • Mahtab Bangalee (7/24/2018 12:44:00 AM)


    excellent introspection -

    A part of me has died:
    ...
    The chalk white scars
    That say I AM SCARED,
    ....
    Of me, the real me,
    Behind these prison walls.

    great writings
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (7/24/2018 12:37:00 AM)


    Our mind is imprisoned no matter where we are.++10 (Report) Reply

  • (2/16/2015 10:14:00 PM)


    This poem is short, but this is enough to convey the powerful mesage here told. The choice of words is suitable for the quickness of the thought, a thought of pain an future anxiety. You have done well here.

    Luis Estable
    (Report) Reply

  • Godfrey Morris (2/16/2015 8:52:00 PM)


    Lovely write great poem (Report) Reply

  • (2/16/2015 8:40:00 AM)


    A mental prison is perhaps the worst kind to fear. The hardest to escape. With words such as these, one attempts to tunnel out. (Report) Reply

    (2/16/2015 1:32:00 PM)

    Hello Dear, how is everything going over there with you, i hope very fine i saw your profile where i am searching for a friend, and it will be my pleasure for us to be friends please for more introduction write direct to my mail box for my pictures and more communication, Let me know your interest on me write me here(faithgregory88@hotmail.com) Thanks Miss faith gregory

  • Kim Barney (2/16/2015 5:26:00 AM)


    Wow! This is intense! I've never been in a prison, but this seems very real. A well-written piece. (Report) Reply

  • (4/26/2009 11:05:00 PM)


    Only one that has walked in the shoes of a prisoner can identify with his or her poetry with the feeling of how it is behind the walls of a prison and i'm one of them, this is too real to deny or forget about it. (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »

# 470 poem on top 500 Poems




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: animal, running



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]