You stutter and your story starts:
“He shave his head cause once you hear his story you need to look at him in a diffrent way. Now I shave my head too.”
You learned to be a man in the projects
Where noone and nothing gets or gives respects
The pushers piss in the hallways
And only disrespecting and protecting pays.
And the little Asian man who planted flowers
Got shot down one night after hours
Cuz he tried to protect the little bit of green
That represented the disillusioned dream
Of disintegrating brotherhood.
In a degenerating neighborhood
“He told me bout a lil bird in Africa that turn its head all the way round so it looks behind at the past ‘fore it head for the future.”
Your head must not turn very far
Cuz you kept on dealing after your first scar
Turned into 5 scars and a gunshot wound
And then you still weren’t attuned
To societal hurdles holding you back
Or the fact it was you who was under attack.
Turn your head around little bird.
Read through the phony, perjured words
Attend to the ancestral purview
That the war on drugs was a war on you.
“When he leave there they gonna send him out in a bag.”
Projects, gang, penthouse, prison
Were all your homes of ostracism.
You met your mentor in the hardest home
A lifer with no eyes on the prize and a lost life poem.
He gave you a smoke, a smile, and a good word
And prevented your rape when you got transferred.
Taught you to stay up late and stay on guard
When to pull your trump card and how to die hard.
Taught you in prison to trust in a brother
Cuz you’re coming from one war into another.
“I left some good people in there that never comin out.”