David Robert Bliwas/Flickr

As I think
about these days of run and play,
young Brown Boys brought up in
poverty with grandmothers
who always prayed, no fathers
in the home to lead
the way. Mothers left
all alone to bring up young
Brown Boys each and every
kind of way. Her most used
words, “Go outside and play,”
with no toys or parks to fill our
days. On train tracks
and in creeks where frogs
and tadpoles live is
where we played,
with the oldest among us
leading the way. We ran
from sunup to moon’s
light, stargazers
we became at night.
Did I say we had joners
for comic relief at the end of the
night? No ragging
on mothers, or
be ready to fight:
the only thing we knew to
be good in our life.
All forgotten at first sunlight;
the hunt for nickels and dimes
left no time to remember the fight last night.
The thought of sugar, something so sweet;
real food is not what poor little Brown Boys would eat.
For nickels and dimes we would attempt
any acrobatic feat,
Little Brown Boys coming up addicted to sweets,
girls and families.
But we grew apart
and formed our crews of Brown Boys committing
the crimes of their times
with whole communities left behind.
For any one of us we would die,
fatherless Brown Boys
raised on lies. As I look around now, so many Brown Boys have died
way before they had their time to shine.
I was raised a tough Brown Boy, for no tears will I cry.
My dream is to run and play with those Brown Boys in heaven on high.
But remember, give those Brown Boys no sugar,
and we will tell you no lies.