Remember Me!

I remember you!
Do you remember me?

Walked on my aged and crumbling streets
Navigated my many obstacles
Strategically placed liquor stores
Drugs and guns
Hustlers and gangsters
Now you stare at me
Through an upscale high-rise window
Do you remember me?

Educated in my dilapidated buildings
Underfunded schools
Matriculated in overcrowded rooms
Taught by my dedicated educators
Overwhelmed and underappreciated teachers
Now many letters follow your name
Degrees one, two, and three
Do you remember me?

Survived many run-ins with my officers
Racial profiling
Juvenile detention
Now your record is squeaky clean
Ensured by a lawyer
On retainer fee
Do you remember me?

Day you left me for the first degree
Etched in my memory
Teased me with an occasional stay
Then visits ceased.
Now you fail to claim
That you were ever raised
In my streets
Code switching deceased
Do you remember me?

I miss you!
I need you!
For the many like you
Those left behind
Doomed to obscurity
Conditioned to accept
Restricted opportunity
My reality

Come back me
Embrace me
Your home community
Don’t deny my memory

Help correct the cycle
So we can show the world
The grace
The resilience
The beauty of my existence
Reflected by the people
Who live in me.

I am the ghetto
Your ghetto
Jewel of the city
Remember me!

© Speaks Beliefs, 2009. All rights reserved.

One thought on “Remember Me!

  1. Wow SB. That very well may be the best I’ve seen from you. I almost didn’t comment as nothing I say could follow the eloquence and power in that poem. It just didn’t seem appropriate. The stanza about “those left behind” was so powerful, I had to read it again like someone being forced to ‘take a good look!’. And I did, and reflected. Good work- and to boot: you do your part to help. I’m thankful that I can say that I have and do, to this day. Keep it up, boricua. Fist Up!

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