By: Cordell Mitchell Jr. (626-233)

Poetry’s Heartbeat

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Footsteps with arrangements of my path.
Body bags on the grass;
And little children who see the aftermath;
On my street…
Which is evident throughout the nation’s news.
Patience bruised…
With no stop signs…
Or “Warning ahead” with light flash;
Or “School zone” off limits because kids just left class…
None of that…
Just the clash…
With broken glass cutting my feet;
But you don’t know what I’m talking about,
If you don’t live on my street…
Can’t be me…
Size 10 and a half shoes;
That you could often see through.
Then my stomach through my spine;
And I get into trouble for what I had to do.
In and out of school…
I never cared about being cool;
Me and my brother only have one eyebrow;
Because we couldn’t afford two…
Don’t know my street;
Not called straight.
Washing off one paper plate,
From three out of five people who ate;
I see why my mama couldn’t take it.
I wasn’t even three years old yet.
Can’t you see;
That there was way too much;
That went down on my street!?
Black top, with blood spots;
I’ve seen Death cracked through the pavements.
Shots spit;
I’ve seen tops twist;
Before he ever gave up a statement.
Flags hang;
We had winter pain,
So I loved school because it was warm.
Have you ever tried to heat the crib with a gas oven?
Well, that’s normal on the city streets I was born.
You see, my raging roads;
Got crazy codes;
And if you don’t stick to them, then you make daisies grow,
Right up under my feet…
But don’t worry about it though, if you don’t live on my street.
My avenue;
Can transform into Malibu;
If I and you;
Tap into who we were created to be,
To prove to a future to show that our people grew…
Or have grown.
With NO discord shown.
Unification of our communities;
Living in vineyards that WE own!
No rent or lease.
Promotion of prosperity and peace.
You and me;
Have the ultimate opportunity;
To cultivate the legacy;
Left on our now trimmed sidewalks…
Throughout our history;
But what will the world see?
Our morphed gravel;
That elevates possibilities…
Not just for me;
But helps others succeed?
Or untamable damnation;
That other people have left for our defeat?
Which one is prominent;
For our street lights to see???”

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