by Angela Brown
(Las Vegas, Nevada USA)

A Rose Bud
From the ghetto
I grew up in
The heart of the ghetto
On the west side of west coast
North side, up north
South side, Dirty south
East side, back east
The streets were fierce
The poverty, the street gangs
Living on disability
In paint chipped housing
Lawns unkempt
The needy were greedy
Streets were filthy rich
High on drugs,
Sex addicts addiction
Drive-bys affliction
To meth, is but a dream
From the ghetto
Living life isn't what it seems
High off the American dream
The promise that one day
I'll achieve at a success
The threat of living off welfare Here I AM
A dead beat father
Who can't pay the rent?
The upkeep of raising a family
A single mom alone in the world
Having to raise five children
On her own
In a single house hold
Living check to check
Cannot pay the rent
Selling everything she got
To make ends meet
Children are starven
It's never enough

Living in poverty
Ain't no joke
Ain't got no education
One job is not enough
To provide an education
So her child can grow up
To pursue a better life
To be happy
From the ghetto
The heart of the ghetto
Hard times are bad enough
Hear gun fire every night Here I AM
They kick in my front door
Threw rocks and eggs at my house
I pray to God asking what it's about
The roaches and rats are infested inside
But my body ain't for sell
Their voices threaten me, the ghetto queen
Trying hard in school to make a difference
People telling me I'm too poor
To make good grades when scores are low
Can't make a dollar out of fifteen cents
Isn't enough to pay the rent
With the life I'm in transition
Being better than what I am
Proud to live in the skin I'm in
I pray tis be different
No not like this
I want to give in to sin
I want to quit
I fear I'm living a dream
Time is not what it seems
The life is not for me
It is not what it means to be
The ghetto is not what is meant to be
When I am scared to live my life Here I AM
Vegas threats are way too loud
People are fed up with discrimination
Racy thoughts racist ideas gone to waste
No one wants to fail in life

Back stabbers try to get ahead
At all risk another one's dead
Corruption desperate thieves
Try to take over at all means
People hide behind their lies
The reality of being black cries in the hood
Life is a statistic another one bites the dust
In the ghetto is never enough
She had her child taken away
With a rain check that said
Your child does not deserve to be born
Denied that your color is not good enough
You have no husband
With no way to raise a child
Alone, without a man
You're a homeless girl who is not good enough
All your life you wanted more Here I AM
They took all reason to live
I'm not good enough
To be alive
I fear I cannot go on
Liven my life
For I've been judged
There God and my God
Don't see eye to eye
I am a child of God
Who has purpose
What do I identify with
The color of my skin
I've been teased
For being black
I'm the darker sister
Who can't clear up her act
Skin so dark
It's the first thing they see
How dark I am
Is how everyone relates to me
I've been called a queen of spades
A black ink marker marked against my skin
I find it difficult
Being within the skin I'm in Here I AM

I've been told I don't belong
I've even been called a black sister
I can't stand it no more
Black skin I wish I were pretty
I wish I were smarter and well liked
My black skin defines me
Deep down underneath this mask
I am ashamed of who I am
Some say I'm too poor,
Too dumb, too ugly
But God made me in his image
Skin deep
I view the world differently
God made me for who I am
No one else has anything to say
I'm from the ghetto
And I stand tall
I'm fierce and I won't fall
The ghetto is no metaphoric dream
The ghetto is more than what it seems to be
In the ghetto
That is where I'm from
And I will be damn
What they think of me Here I AM
Before the fat lady sings
The last note is played
And I won't give up on my dreams
I went to college
To make my life better
I had a dream that I could give back
So others will cherish
Their dreams of becoming a success
I needed something more
And one day our voices will be heard
No longer perturbed
No more disturbed
In the ghetto, life must go on
In the ghetto, life must go on
In the ghetto, life must go on
Quitting is not an option

Life must go on
Life must go on
my message to Hillary
don't give up the fight
Don't loose sight of the purpose
don't loose track of who you are
Black Lives Matter

Rosa Parks rise up
Mary Lou Hammer rise up
Angela Davis rise up
Daisy Bates rise up
Shirley Chisholm rise up
Fannie Lou Hammer rise up
Anna Hedgeman rise up
Virginia Durr rise up

This is history
This is my life story

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