By David Gatewood

The sound of the alarm tears through my dreams.

The red florescent light reflects off my face,

5:00 glows through my dark room with sun like beams,

It stings my eyes,

I look outside,

Crack heads and dope fiends have no curfew

They surround my house with few gentlemen dressed in all black

Sagged pants,

Neck and wrist full of gold,

Bags full of dust meet the hands of people with

Peeled skin,

Bloody nose,

Tattered clothes,

Who are they?


My classroom cluttered with prepubescent rage,

Screams and paper balls surround my desk

I try to find peace in the madness.


I pick my head up from a desk covered in ink,

Drool spills of my lip.

my teacher stands above me,

I am met with these strong eyes

Seeking to derail my path,

With false intentions

Seeking to end this insanity


Delinquent roles off her tongue real quick,

empty words.

Each fall out the other ear,

do you care?

How can I focus with an empty stomach?


Every night I am met with the same brisk wind

Seeping from the peripherals of my window,

You are the third teacher I had this year.

I don’t know you.

You can’t control a class but you choose to control me.

I’m not interested


College is pressed on me in conclusion of my academic years.

Mortarboards thrown by my peers but,

I’m too uninspired to work to sport mine.

A dumb nigga like me understands that this road to college wasn’t paved for me.

Most of my friends are falling to the same path as I.

Education was never for me.

The streets are my future.

I will shine like the gold chains drooping across a dealer’s neck,

Because I want one too.


A fortress of oppression

I was soon met by cold steel bars


I created this labyrinthine.

Separation of this scholarly path,


I am not the only one with this story,


Wake up.


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