‘I am confused and afraid’: Teen wrote haunting poem two years before police killed him

EAST PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — “I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mom to never feel that pain.”

Two years ago, Antwon Rose wrote those prescient lines in a poem for his 10th grade honors English class. He titled it, “I am not what you think.”

He refused to be “just a statistic,” the African-American teenager wrote.

On Tuesday, an East Pittsburgh police officer fatally shot the unarmed 17-year-old, who ran as police stopped a vehicle suspected of being involved in a shooting in a nearby community, the Allegheny County Police said. The officer was placed on administrative leave as the department investigates, police said.

In a few days, Antwon’s mother will bury him.

His family released the poem Thursday through the Woodland Hills School District, where he attended school.

Antwon’s mother wanted the world to read the poem her son wrote. He wrote about being “confused and afraid,” wondering about the path he would take in life. The poem was read aloud at a rally Thursday in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh.

“I understand people believe I’m just a statistic,” Antwon wrote. “I say to them I’m different.”

He dreamed, he wrote, “of life getting easier.”

Here is the poem in its entirety:

“I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK!

I am confused and afraid

I wonder what path I will take

I hear that there’s only two ways out

I see mothers bury their sons

I want my mom to never feel that pain

I am confused and afraid

 

I pretend all is fine

I feel like I’m suffocating

I touch nothing so I believe all is fine

I worry that it isn’t though

I cry no more

I am confused and afraid

 

I understand people believe I’m just a statistic

I say to that I’m different

I dream of life getting easier

I try my best to make my dream true

I hope that is does

I am confused and afraid”

-Antwon Rose, 5/16/2016