Beyond city limits embedded
In, population of trees, poverty
Birthed a neighborhood of
Innocent youth draped in
Everyday life, a vegetating war zone of
Boys playing gang games in
Today’s forecast: stray bullets.
My mother and father no older than I
Took classes with them, we
Learned to read together
Parental authority lost favor with me
Too grown to be told had to be reasoned with.
Left home by chance before
Streets could claim my life, before
Taking up residence in penal institution
Most of my friends have yet to graduate from there.
Found myself playing gang games in
Different war zone as professional student and
Resident of a martial institution
Leaving streets of hopelessness for
Countries of the same.