Ghetto Concrete Lines

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:26 -- Majae


United States
41° 55' 21.0504" N, 87° 45' 6.228" W

The Acre of Broken Dreams (Ghetto Concrete Lines)
By Majae Brown

Jackson and Pulaski
Broken acre of Dreams
From which many weeds grew

concrete lines
From which we grew
But we weren’t weeds
You labeled it a ghetto concrete line
We labeled it the broken acre of dreams
Even if our soil was a pebble
And our water whatever leaked
And our sunlight the few beams that escaped between the trees leafs
In this sidewalk crack we grew beautifully

3944 W Jackson
Concrete line… of success
Where weeds grew
But roses, daylilies, and tulips did too

From Nothing
But this dirty cricked
Line of concrete
Did a garden of such beauty
Grow so beautiful

So if I’m
Because I was planted and grown in concrete instead of fertile soil
Yet I grew as or even more beautiful than those of fertile soil
Let me be ghetto
For I am a…
Concrete flower
With roots entrapped in ghetto cement
But pedals encaptured in dreams, hopes, and ambitions
With potential pollinating my air

Urban concrete flower
With delicate pedals
Fighting the battle to grow
Stuck between concrete blocks
Threatened to be yanked by the roots
Just because I decide to grow outside
This hopeless Block
Bugs of bad influence
Constantly surround me
With the intentions to make me wilt
When all I desire is fresh air
Instead of the heavy Pesticides of Society
We inhale

Where weeds grow and go with the season
But I’ve endured
Hot summers of gang violence
Heat waves of teen pregnancy
The drought of drugs
Where the heat of stray bullets
Yank the roots of Potential
Because I was pollinated with change
Success aspirations
Pollinated with the desire
To see this and the next generation of seeds
Not to meet society’s expectations
But to grow higher

I was pollinated
With determination
To see the same beauty grown in me
Implanted in the future generations

But I stay rooted in the acre of broken dreams
Being told
Maybe the hope of beautiful flowers growing from concrete was unrealistic
Maybe I lied to myself
Trying to prove I’m above their words
Like the Weeping Willow
I cry the tears of frustration
Cry the tears to heal the broken heart of the Westside
Weeping the sorrows of Chiraq
I can’t breathe
For I am strangled by the roots of weeds
Trying to take my water
Trying to still my sunshine
All the negativity slices my stem
At a rapid rate in which I cannot heal myself fast enough
I cry because I’m seen worthless by the ones who should value me the most
Words cut deeper than swords
And I wish yall would learn to wield your tongues
Instead of thrashing and breaking my blooming spirit
With mouths that act as guns
I take the heat
Yet I still rise

At times, I wilt because weeds outnumber me
Only one person stands by me
My butterfly my nana

The rest?
await my failure
As a groom awaits his bride at the alter
They eagerly wait in the aisles
For me to marry my defeat
But I’ve never been submissive to such marital arrangements

Value me
As I continue to grow
Urban Concrete flower
Westside produce of Chicago
Don’t take my water
Don’t steal my sunshine
All I ask is society don’t pick me
And these weeds don’t kill me

Jackson and Pulaski
Allow me to reintroduce myself
I am the representation of the garden rooted in hopelessness,
Fertilized with welfare, food stamps, and section 8
The representation of the forgotten and fallen flowers
In the acre of broken dreams
I am not the hopeless weed from the Westside of Chicago
I am the ambitious tulip from the Westside of ChicaGROW

I am the urban concrete flower
That only a few have achieved
And in the words of Tupac Shakur
Long live the rose that grew from concrete


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