Them is Us

A picture of A’dora Willis

Courtesy of DC SCORES

Superhuman, superhero
Can you help me? Can I be you?
Superhuman, superhero
Can you save me? Don’t let me go
Why doesn’t my playground have a lake?
And why I gotta hoop with rusted rims? Wear busted tims?
Live in a place where when the street light dims,
the flashlight tings and tries to pin the sin on—
That’s him, the one with the dread locks and dark skin
Why does my home swim in broken limbs?
Shots sing to me “happy birthday”
No special occasion, I hear em everyday
Your candles, to my rounds
You make a wish, I’m ducking down
So maybe, I can go to school in the morning
But the sun rises and the morning comes, my clock buzzes
until it falls off my nightstand but for some reason,
I can’t make it up to stand without asking…
Why don’t we have books?
And why I gotta compete with a flying roach?
Can’t afford to fix bathroom stall doors, Or supply enough soap
Ain’t got no ink, done ran outta paper
How do you expect us to make it, When home and school jade us?
You don’t
We’re forced to go to school within the boundaries, keep everything tidy
Keep MoCo high and PG low, let the white kids grow
Let the black kids go and do whatever they want
We gave em the basics,
so it’s they own fault if they don’t make it
Signed, sealed, delivered — I call it education
John’s father is a lawyer, with an office in the corner
And my mother
Flips do’s and sweeps the shop well after the sun set stops
And you mean to tell me, that because of a few extra dollars,
Or a difference in professional reputation
He, is better than Me?
John can look up to the sky and reach for it, with no limitations
But the only thing I can reach for are rusted rim shavings
Let me tell you something
I am just as entitled to a dream as John, Billy, and all the rest of them
Them kids on the other side of town,
Are no better than Jaquan or Billy Brown
Earnings don’t define desirability
Don’t no money, no house, no job, no color call the shots of opportunity
And my neighborhood ain’t no excuse for high quality inequity
or swings with severed seats
The window should be open for everybody,
And you just aren’t going to take that right away from me
I can dream too, I have dreams too
And imma reach for em
And there ain’t nothing you can do to stop me
Superhuman, superhero
I don’t need you, now I do know
Superhuman, superhero
You were always me Now I will show the world
A new way — a new way.

These women performed their poetry at Studio Theater on August 5. Both are alumni of DC SCORES, an afterschool program that combines soccer, poetry and service.

Issues |Civil Rights|Education|Housing|Income Inequality

Region |Montgomery County|Prince George's County|Washington DC

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