A Dropout

Rico Miller 1930 (Mississippi)

A Dropout

Listen my children and you shall hear
What dropouts do and what they fear
I dropped out and made my name
A number one fool in the hall of shame

I can’t read and I can’t write
All I know is how to fight
I do drugs and I get high
Ask me no questions, ‘cause I don’t know why

All I know is I have no home
I don’t even know what went wrong
I can’t add, and I can’t spell
Goodbye school I’m going to hell

In hell there are no schools
In hell there are no rules
Hell is where I don’t want to be
Because then, no one will care about me

But wait! Maybe it’s not too late
For me to change my fate
I’ll try and try real hard
To find myself and make a new start

Rico Miller, September 1988

About this poem

This poem was written in 1988 while I served as a teacher, watching the experiences of young people who were struggling. This poem has helped many young people.

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Written on September 27, 1988

Submitted on April 26, 2022

Modified on April 18, 2023

46 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 717
Words 156
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1

Rico Miller

I served my country in 1950-1953 in Korea in the United States Air Force as a fireman. I retired from two jobs in Chicago, including one as a high school teacher, which I most cherished. I am widowed with 2 living children and 2 deceased. Although times have been rough, I am 92 years old on May 4th and I feel as good and as optimistic about life as I did at 30. I'm glad to be here! more…

All Rico Miller poems | Rico Miller Books

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Discuss the poem "A Dropout" with the community...

  • dougb.21370
    The plague has only gotten worse with drug enticements. Peer pressure. Stultified ambition. Hopes gone up the chimney. You have issued a needful warning to Youth today who seem to damn the consequences. A legacy of gentlemanly stature and caring…Doug Blair 
    LikeReply10 months ago
  • teril
    This is well written and clear. What an important poem!
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • lisacampbell29
    Nice work!
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • elena.ingrid.schwarz
    Impressive !
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • fredmentalworld
    A ferocious attack on truancy. Great work.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • abielias1
    Wow! I can see from your poem what a caring teacher you were, someone who is truly invested in their students' futures. The world needs more like you.
    LikeReply 21 year ago


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"A Dropout" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/125598/a-dropout>.

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