Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

This house

Front yard

White picket fence

A driveway that leads to an open garage

Garden

Steps

Living the American dream

Backyard

Caged

Wild stray cats

And crazy neighbors who were drunk just like my stepfather

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

This house

Walking distance from education

We were

Walking school buses

House to house

Yelling "Let's go!"

When we were really yelling

"Let's prove them wrong because we know they don't want to see black children in classroom seats, they'd rather see black children in class six streets"

But our elementary school minds weren't that deep

That was the first time

I had ever seen a bird ran over

Death

Wasn't the first time I experienced it

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Next door neighbors

Filled with kids

You would think it was a foster home for the loud

I was taught how to fight

I was taught that life throws punches way before the age of sixteen

I was taught to duck when one is coming fast

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Beer bottles

Brown

With condensation still left on it

White

Pulled out of refrigerators from seven year old hands because

Stepfather needed it

Barbershops

Where you learned that people who need a haircut the most talks the most smack

And back ends of sorority house kitchens where I did first grade homework

And where you learned that the food is frozen before cooked

Janitors and drug deal corners

Ambulance sirens

Gunshots

Gunshots

Gunshots

Fireworks

Police sirens

Red, white, and blue

Oh yes, we were living the American dream

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Progressive

Church

Right up the street from our house

Praises being sung so loud I could hear it through my bedroom window

Ebonics

And mom's rich Arabic accent

Like the cakes she use to bake

Hoping to see the day

That these streets will be more in movies

Instead of sitting on couches in the

Front yard

White picket fence

With eight year old eyes looking back thinking that

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Was my American dream