An Ode To The Street I Grew Up On

An Ode To The Street I Grew Up On

Thank you for the memories. Thank you for teaching me the American Dream.

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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

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Alabama’s New Abortion Law Is All About The State Controlling Women's Body

Lately there has been a lot of controversy about abortion and birth control laws. Here's why they're the wrong move.

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I'm going to say this once and I'm going to say it loud.

NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO CONTROL ANOTHER PERSON'S BODY.

No MAN can tell us, women, how to live.

Recent laws have been presented saying that abortion after six weeks is illegal--right around when doctors would be able to detect a heartbeat.

An article with all the details and all the facts will be presented at a separate time or the information can be googled. This is to let everyone know EXACTLY why this bill is not necessary.

First, one of the largest parts of this bill that irritates me is the rule over women's bodies when it was written by old white men sitting in an office staring at each other. If you don't have to deal with this problem, you don't get to decide the outcome.

The entire bill is telling women what to do with their bodies, telling us what is right and wrong. If a person has to give consent for their organs to be dissected AFTER their death, what right do they have to tell us what to do with it while we're living?

"THE LEGISLATION MAKES NO EXCEPTION FOR VICTIMS OF RAPE OR INCEST" (CBS)

Here's a story my friend sent to me that I think everyone needs to read.

"You're the parent of an 11-year-old girl, she gets her period for the first time. No big deal! She decides she wants to go to a summer camp, where she is raped by a 45-year-old maintenance man for the grounds. You never find out.

The following month she doesn't get her period, being only her 3rd-5th one since she started, you don't think much of it and your wife reassures you her cycle doesn't begin an exact month to month track until she's been menstruating for a full year. Two weeks later your wife gets concerned and brings her to the doctors. They tell you your 11-year-old daughter is 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

Who did this? Your daughter tells you about the rape, she's still confused about what happened. In elementary school, they haven't taught sex education and she never knew what was really going on. Just knew that it hurt.

Sure, you can obtain an abortion, she can't have a baby at 11-years-old! And she can't have a baby from her 45-year-old rapist. The doctor then informs you that due to the laws in your state, unless you've filed a police report about the rape before this appointment finding out she is pregnant, that legally the 6-week mark indicates no doctor can perform her abortion.

She's 11.

You didn't know she was raped. She didn't know what was happening. We'll leave the state.

The doctor informs you that you can't do that either. Due to this new law, any woman who leaves the state and receives an abortion is facing 10 years in prison. Anyone who facilitates this person in leaving state can be charged with conspiracy to murder. And if she gets an abortion illegally, at home or given medication to help assist the abortion process, she can face the death penalty."

Now your daughter is not only damaged emotionally and psychologically but she is forced to go through a pregnancy that her body can barely handle.

And your 11-year-old is a mother.

All because there was a belief that life is precious and a gift from God and no one thought that the separation of church and state happened for a reason.

Congratulations.

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