I awaken every morning hungry.
hungry for both knowledge and food. The stench of poverty fills my nose and I describe
every morning with one word: crude.
My stomach begins to rumble, but there will be no food cooked for me,
For my mother doesn’t return from her midnight rendezvous till about three.
Wearing yesterday’s clothes, I head on out to the school bus stop,
Eating a mustard sandwich while sipping on a stale pop.
The bus arrives promptly; right on time,
but not before I witness two drunks scuffle over a bottle of wine.
I prepare myself mentally for the kids in school and
I describe every morning encounter with one word: cruel.
I take my place at the back of the class,
So that my heavy body odor won’t offend each nose that I pass.
I’m teased about my shoes and the way I read my books,
But all I can do is sit there and look.
I ask my Guidance Counselor about the possibility of college
And he told me I couldn’t keep up, nor do I possess the knowledge.
Friendships are forged in classrooms,
But every passing moment fills my heart with gloom.
I don’t have the money to socialize with the upper class
And the white ones won’t have my poor black ass.
The gangsters are tough and they clique together,
But I have to stand alone with no weight, light as a feather.
Even the nerds won’t speak to me,
For their class level is one: mine is three.
I sit alone in the class away from the bunch,
trying to focus on the teacher and thinking about lunch.
At lunchtime, I eat alone.
Relishing every bite and dreading going home.
My performance after lunch is usually much better,
because my belly is full and my thoughts are together.
At 3 0′ clock the bell rings and it’s time to go home,
I skip the bus ride because I’d rather walk alone.
No food is cooked when I get in
And my mother’s breath reeked of gin.
My mother left the house now I’m alone again,
you see alcohol is my mother’s best friend.
With no food to eat and no air conditioning to fight the heat,
I call it an evening and prepare to sleep.
But every night I always pray
And ask sweet Jesus for the strength to make it through another day.