They send you in again.
No call from mom,
No doctor’s excuse,
No reason to skip third grade gym.
you say dodgeball is like walking home from school
And you only want to walk home once a day.
You walk past the roller rink that’s been grey and empty since you were born,
Cross to the other side
Cause you know who stays there now.
It’s not the laughing kids with tokens and pink and orange blades;
It’s the ones with hard metal blades and hard metal eyes.
You have no happening bowling alley here,
No carpeted library with tall ceilings and quiet walls.
No movie theater with popcorn and 3D glasses.
The community center’s for banging dope,
The corner’s for dealing,
The alley’s for walking
And at night it’s for dodging bullets.
You have broken blinds to peak out,
You have pushers pissing in the front hall,
you have television
And sometimes you see your complex on the 10 o clock or the crime watch.
You have dejection and submission to an accepted monster,
The hate child of the oppressor and the oppressed.
You have neighbors with transitory glory and local blood diamonds.
You have your own children’s army here.
But you won’t get kidnapped with a gun to your head;
Physical force isn’t your problem yet.
The force of non-options is strongest here, at your young age.
You were never born innocent here.
You were born with a rape whistle in your brain,
Fight or flight written on your kicks,
The tensest fear under your surface,
Hard straight stare and low lid.
Maybe you were a crack baby or maybe
Your mom never touched the stuff,
Tries not to let you touch
the thin walls of your one bedroom for five,
Barely holding back the weight of the monster,
Barely dodging the constant pounding balls.
you’ve been sitting here 20 minutes
And you finally open your mouth
When I ask what you like doing the best.
You say “I’m a b boy”
Cross your skinny arms
And I look at 60 pound little boy you
And I don’t doubt it for a second.
This one was partly inspired by an event I went to where Crazy Legs was talking about breakdancing for positive social change. If anyone has a chance to watch, I highly recommend the “Bouncing Cats” film that documents the b boy movement in Uganda.