In my neighborhood I see graffiti
two different races running the streets.
Cliques of Black and Latinos
gathered at the park
waiting for trouble to start.
Youngsters running from the police
some for doing wrong,
others because of police brutality.
Gunshots here, there, and around the block.
It was a 14 year old shooting
at his enemies with a 40 Glock.
Now the kid shot is dead
and the 14 year old caught at the spot.
Walls down alleys covered with gang graffiti,
other hoods crossing it out.
Youngsters running down Lake Street,
years later ending up in Stillwater, Oak Park or St. Cloud
for assault, murder or a robbery charge.
These are the things I saw while growing up.