By: Erykah Shepard
This here, is my kingdom come.
I lay on rocks and chew gravel,
It keep my peers complacent.
My body spit out bullets, leaping over immovable towers
I am your superwoman, appauld me.
That's all I am, your story.
Let it sing you sleep. My words are a nighttime melody.
They slither and poison your sanity.
Taints you till insanity.
Nobody knows how hard it is to sleep,
When you got a bullet in your brain.
But I shake it off, freeze my heart till I don't feel no more.
Maybe then I can escape the loop of survival.
By: Cecilia Sota
Come this November it will be time for me to
renew my contract, agreement, compromise whatever it was that
I, myself, agreed to.
I put a lot of naivety, hope, stupid amounts of faith
into a future more uncertain than the ending of a
mess of a book.
Four years ago, I agreed that if in five years, life did
not look up, then I could, I was allowed to, do what
I had stopped myself from doing that
November 9th evening.
And whenever told, people always look at me with
such confused raise of brows, because
how could I have know?
Truth is, I didn’t.
It never crossed my younger self’s mind,
the probability, the chances, of my looking up.
I just did. I just trusted that it would, and well if it
I had five years to wait out.
And now here, the renewal period is coming up,
and I will not hesitate in doing it again,
but this time an extension of twenty years,
and maybe it is overly ambitious
but that November 9th evening,
I stopped for myself
because there are so many things
I needed to do, I had to make others happy,
and eventually myself,
so I think I understand the borders of my limits,
and if not I don’t mind poking around in the dark for a
Because life has looked up, and maybe
my shortness is exaggerating the height of the changes,
but I find my smile lines have
And I have found that the weight that levied
against my shoulders is much
lighter than my own niece now.
I think I spent too much time just breathing
that I forgot what it meant to live.
So, twenty years should be enough to regain
Surviving the Streets of Chiraq
Flashes of news headlines reading 82 people shot over the 4th of July weekend
Bullets exploding from guns in a man’s hands
who think that drive-bys are the equivalence of fun
Cries of mothers losing their young children
who can’t even play in the park
without the pleasant sounds of gunshots
which sounds keep the innocent trapped in fear
Fear that continues to grow on this city
And no one doing anything about it
people being afraid to trust again
to live again
you can't go work without being shot down
you can't go to the ice cream shop without being shot down
I walk on the street afraid of my own shadow
People can’t even sit next to me on the train without me looking at them twice
My trust in chicagoans has faded from my heart
I am scared
Scared that i will wake up one morning
and walk into my little sister’s room and she won’t be there
Scared that my older brother will be on his way to work
and he’ll be another young face on channel 9 news
Scared for me and my life
Scared to live because I’m scared that if I step outside
I won’t be able to live anymore
But all in all
I keep going
and push through fears because I have to get out bed
to make it in this world
I want the killings and gang violence to vanish without a trace
I want peace in our city
Some people think that its impossible but having faith is all people can have
Faith and hope is all people carry in their hearts
as they walk through the streets of Chiraq.
By: Bethany Stubbs
You wanna know how to survive in Chicago
You wanna believe in the skyline of this city
you wanna know there are no snakes in the grass
You wanna see a pure reflection in the lakes you stand above
Trust that the fireworks you hear aren't gun shots
You wanna know that if you send your baby out ,
he won't return in a casket
But you can't .
You can't trust anyone ...
you can barely trust yourself not falling into temptation like its quicksand ..
You gotta sleep with your eyes wide open .
You gotta pray that you don't get kicked out of public places
Places you should be welcomed with open arms
But they degrade you,
segregate you ,
then claim you are integrated like
cheap knock off coffee you are weak
obeying the cream
Hold your tongue
you gotta learn to control the fire inside you
I know the rage you feel.
I know the feeling of broken slang curse words that clog your esophagus.
You've been shot down so much you wanna give up
but you gotta have a backbone .
You gotta stand strong in those timberland boots .
You gotta be persistent
You gotta keep coming back
You gotta be that fly on the wall quiet
and patient knowing soon your time will come.
That's how you survive in Chicago