Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Philadelphia Child - Ursula Rucker ~2001

Philadelphia Child

Philadelphia Child
wild, mild
mind all filled with city
fresh city, foul city
fiery city, frigid city

Philadelphia child
mild, wild
wildflower
watered with child power
growing from cracks... in cement sidewalks
and school yards...
and playgrounds
singular and lovely
common and ugly

Philadelphia child
piled high... with visions of his-story
rhythms of ghetto's glory
Richard Allen, 52 story buildings
Elfreths Alley, liberty-bell rings,
sewer smells and belly swells

class trips to Independance Hall
evoke questions like...
"Where do I fit in all -- of this?"
four ghetto girls and barrio boys
taught lessons in the voice
of the founding forefathers
but those same four
sill ain't found their fathers

Philadelphia child
at the mercy of the public school system
at the mercy of existence
of human allegiance and government finance
dance with the element of chance
the chance to grow
the chance to fly
the chance to know
the chance to die
In body
In spirit, mind or soul
the chance to be gold... or fool
the chance to be gold... or fool

Philadelphia child
olympic hopeful
won gold medals in mattress flipping and subway sprinting
well versed in the Yo! lingo
pretzel and cheesesteak fed
Philly born and bred
Tastykake sweet or hard of head
tread and trampled on
same ground Ben Franklin and the boyz walked upon

Drill teams have replaced the
not-ready-for-integration-Declaration of Interdependence players
White-booted
Philly attituded
zooted... up... on Schuykill Punch
They shout above drum and street-stomp
saying

We are here
We are here
We are here
We are here
We are, we live, we matter
We are, we live, we matter