I Am From

I am from the cracks and crumbles
in the concrete under the streetlights.
Born of the misgivings of a rebellious baby.
A baby who bore a baby way too early.
I am from the mountains and seas of red brick and chipped gray mortar,
the combination that made up the homes known as the projects
I am from the cloud of confusion that turned Granny into Mama,
as Mama became Barbara in the early developing mind of a mistake.

I am from the washed and rewashed sheets
hanging from the old clotheslines in the back yard.
From backyard, to backyard, to another backyard,
all with black plastic bag of clothes and youth in the trunk of a 1994 Ford Taurus.
I am from the memories of a new friend become lost friend become new friend,
And from new place to new place while traversing the maze of shelters hidden,
hidden like stations on the underground railroad.

I am from achy knees and worn down shoulders.
From bags & bruises under the eyes covered in chaffed makeup from crying.
I am from the dark black shades that did more than block the sunrays,
As they covered the weary eyes of a Mama so tired.

I am from the three bedrooms with three beds,
holding eights sets of feet and eight heads.
I am from the cracks and crumbles that became the foundation and support,
for the not yet strong enough young shoulders of a fourteen year old boy,
Becoming the man to lessen the burden of a Granny become Mama.

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