The Plan


They said.


It read.


You cried,

Tears in your eyes

As that dream.

That dream from the meek age

Of 17

Standing on the corner of

“Going nowhere”

And “Never stopping”.

That dream that led you,

Fingers curled around yours,

Up out of the slums,

Out of the hate.

Away from the discrimination and

“Low-key cultural appropriation”.

And you held on tight,

This was your new plan for life.

No more drugs, no more gangs,

No more police reports and wanted billboards.

No more face full of shame and no more shackles on those ankles.

Lord knows you didn’t fire that shot.

But when you see people,

Running down your block,

Arms up,

Palms sweaty,

Screaming “Run, it’s shoot on sight”

You know you’re damned for life.

Your streets were filled with tricycles and basketball,

But one day gang life finally took that all.

The cops came and did away with the rest,

Left hand on the gun at the bottom of his vest.

And you respect them,

You do.

You know how it feels like to live

Life on the line,

A family to protect,

Worrying about your little sons in their beds.

Wondering if your moms is okay,

Or if she got turned down,

Shelters aren’t good for the old crowd.

Wishing you could help the woman

Who raised you up when you fell down,

Kept your wife warm when the jury declared war

On Mulberry Road because of one man

And the hate in his heart.

Because he hated the blues,

And because you’re black,

So of course that must’ve been you.

Who fired those shots,

Who ran the other way,

And not towards the man who cuffed your friends.

Towards the man who watched their blood roll,

Lazy drops trickling down the scuffed up sidewalks.

You had one hand over his heart,

To stop the bleeding.

And he had one hand on his gun,

Ready to put an end to your life plan.


This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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