Poem: The Sidewalk

I loved growing up with the sidewalk

Youth pick up da telephone and call down da street

I’ve been tryin’
Tryin to write my story

The story I know
Ridiculed cynicism
They look at me suspicious
Look at yourself suspicious
Ain’t no kid doin’ harm

Makin my way in a world
In dis body
In my dialects

Royal Oak was sure a great place
I remember that Bohemian couple in the red house
Kinda an inspiration to the flitter and flutter spirit
Keep me grounded
Why they liked the darkness
I always wondered

Long hair
She was nice to us kids
The lady renting the apartment upstairs
I loved visitin’
She would listen
Listen to da kids
I am the lady
Long hair
Dark brown
Renting the apartment upstairs
Conservative rez town-church bell chime
Won’t conform to the prayer of reform
I got my own ways cuz of my hometown liberalism-community-neighborhood-village

I am not gonna dis my hometown
Railroad tracks signified freedom
Us kids found hope there
Hands along the rails
Rocks chucked in anger
What went on in our homes
Is how we talked to each other
Our youth filled counseling sessions
Railroad track appointments

My working class friends were mostly all unique
One stole a few of my sacred items
And so I learned the white kid wanted to steal from the mixed race NDN kid

And the sidewalk is where I grewed up
As my Dad said
Grewed up

And the sidewalk is where I grewed up
Denying my accents and dialects
Tones and stones thrown at powerlines in anger
Youth to find some meaning

And the sidewalk is where I grewed up
My feet could run and run and run

With her beautiful hands my Momma pointed to the poetry books
Reading for hours and hours
Reading books
Thanks Momma

I read and read and read the sidewalk.