Kids Behind Bars


The bell rings, and it is 7:40
As they lined up, the police pulled up
Great minds come ready, metal detectors handy
Is that criminalization or education?
I overheard a kid scream ... Dreams
once we believed in, turned into fantasies,
nightmares, tortures, and deferred
Langston Hughes said in his poem,
which is haunting me though like a ghost ...
An uninvited host dwelling into the womb
of the so called ghetto ... my people ... and we struggle as we go.
Day by day we pray for a better day
but the 'Archangel got me wasted while the pope is stoned'
Sixto said ... as you crucify my mind, I wonder of the days
when school was a way out until they raised the bars
behind which great minds are incarcerated.
And he screamed louder ... with such bitterness ...
Learned helplessness.
His voice is carried thru the hallway
like a lion locked up in a cage, or a giant dying in an alley;
like the hippies in the 60s, the BLA and the runaways.
"Burn the books" he said
and let our imagination run wild
as we're locked up behind school bars.

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