Where I'm From a poem by Dairue Martin

I’m from a place where you have to come in

Before the night

A place where if you walking alone you have

To hold your pockets tight

A place you will only earn respect

If you know how to fight

Living check-to-check

Never having your dreams in sight

11-year-old boys asking you for a light


The might of the pen

Our words will never

Take flight

I’m from a place where the liquor store was better

Attendance than the schoolhouse

A place where snitching is shunned and you have

To watch your mouth

A place where no one cares about getting good grades

They only care about getting paid and girls

Wanting their hair slayed