six minutes up the freeway
lies discarded hope in sunrises tainted with grey
dreams die in conversations poked by splintered stoops
plans popped like balloons by pipes or needles
wasn’t always that way

six minutes up the freeway
b-boys and fly girls danced, sung, kissed, clung to each other
fairytale lover bass lines bumped out of open trunks
sips were passed around in red cups
till tipsiness and bravado brought bullets and cops out

we went in tiny kitchens played spades for days
mommies made potato salad while daddies barbequed
babies weren’t born to babies who no one buried before their time

six minutes up the freeway
stench of abandoned buildings, heavy burdens, and broken households, blankets the air
trapped there by a system that cages young sons scraping for a way out of poverty
imagine the irony created by desperation, corruption, poor education, apathy
no longer notice the skyline or if the sunrises in skylines tainted in grey
even when the sun sets there’s still no hope in the horizon
six minutes up the freeway

© michele mitchell, 2013

Photo credit: Page by Glen Marszalowicz