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Prison Be Like That

by euhal allen

Don’t matter no how, what that thing
What imprisons you is, them bars still be there
Putting stripes on your soul and
Trying to make you little, trying to
Chill your mind, make your thoughts
Hide so even you can’t find them. You been
Sentenced to life in that hole down there.

Some be sentenced ’cause their color
Aint right; and some be sentenced ’cause they
Is so poor that food aint an everyday thing; and some
Be sentenced ’cause they is born with hurts that
Won’t go away; and some gets their hurts just
Livin and then be sentenced to be that way; and
How they going to get out of that hole? How they
Going to find out who they really are?

Each day finds pain a little harder, and them
Bars is heavier, and colder, and that hole seems
Deeper. And we can’t climb out; And we can’t
Jump out; and they don’t seem to be no ladder
To the top, where they hide the fresh air. And this
Hole eats our hope; and feeds our anger; and
Makes us use our strength beating the walls
With our fists. And our hands get bloody.

And they call this living; but it aint, it be just
Breathing with rasping breath, and aching hearts
What want that fresh air; what want to have the
Sunlight without paying for it like them other folks;
Them out of prison folks; them that aint followed
By bars; what don’t live in cells. Cells for us what is
Colored wrong; or has sick bodies; or aint rich enough
For food; or don’t sing the right songs with our
Lives. And there aint no parole.

We can’t live in this hole no more; we gots to fight
And break them bars: break them so they can’t hold
Us no more. We gots to trade them broken bars
For life; for livin in that world what is coming; what is
Coming here, for us, to take them things what holds
Us down and burn them. We is promised that world.
We gots to think and use those promises to build us a
Ladder out of this hole and up into the fresh air, so
We can breathe; so we can sing; so we can laugh. We
Going to learn to laugh; not just little laughs we got
Now and again, but big belly laughs what make our
Minds clear; what lets us see our freedom.

Copyright © 2006 by euhal allen

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