Sunday, 15 January 2012

it looks like hope

You start your life

And the odds are against you
even before you reach
your first birthday

Sucking goes anxiously fast
comfort in the hood

is a luxury momma cannot afford
and drunk daddy cannot tolerate,

'You fuckin bitch you gotta work '
he says kicking at empty bottles against the fridge.

Uninformed and with a set of incomplete jigsaw puzzles
you try to fit out the pieces of your life

By your fifth birthday you still puzzle your way through this
and you discover that the perfect picture of life is not yours,

The green lawns,the spacious porches
and happy families
are not your vision,
It is the longing vision
you stole with your eyes
when you walked
the Canaan suburbs

You got to help momma,
you sell cushions,
you push trolleys at the mart

another man told you to sell you body
at the shopping mall toilets

But you did not
now baby brother Abe
sleep hungry tonight.

By your tenth birthday you discover
driving the third class metro
on your way back to home

that your way is
on the graffiti walls
of boombox flats,
midnight abuse,
screaming disputes,

dark doggy faces
on the staircase,
watch you ascend

You clench on a book
a homeboy ask you
what you got there.

He rips it from your hands,
laughs with a pack of goons.

' Waldo fucking Emerson' he says

You lose the book,
you lose your hope
you stab him in the neck,
he dies.

Sixteen years old and you got life
(never had life mother fucker!!!!!)
and you show no remorse
to a disturbing righteous judge.

As the first crank sounds
on the turn of the jail house key
you breath and you think

' Was there an other way'

The loud speaker plays
George Harrison sings 'My Lord"

you walk the chained line
you smile
it looks like hope.

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