Month: May 2018

where the birds don’t sing

DSC_0238 ps

brooklyn-born black boy
broken boy, orphan boy
uncle’s doing crack, boy
auntie on her back, boy
why she doin’ that, boy?

it’s hard when the only hero
in the house is heroin
and you live in a part of bushwick
where the cops don’t come
and the birds don’t sing

it’s 1997 and you’re only 17
and you’re sick of being broke
and your eyes are on the green,
so you load up your gun
and you conjure up a scheme,
“i’m gonna rob somebody”

taxi, taxi
hop up in the taxi
homie in the backseat
made it to the backstreet
taxi, taxi
give me all your money
47 dollars?
hope you’re being funny
taxi, taxi
this ’bout to get bloody
picture of your children?
listen to my buddy

17 years later,
that same part of bushwick
is littered with white folk
and coffee shops, and cops
to protect them.
and the birds are singing now,
matter a fact, they all sang
about that murder in ’97

elvin hill was sentenced to life
for the murder of my father.
mom was happy, and i love her,
but i couldn’t help but think
the only difference between
me and you at 17
is that i was living free
and you never had the chance to.

“where the birds don’t sing”

┬ęSteven Cuenca