Hell in Paradise

The bark of guns
Fade into the background
So part of the dark outside
That silence
Scares the tough shell courage
From his adolescent body

He can’t sleep
Without this lullaby
The boom boom pow
That cracks the night sky
In his urban prison home
Where he can’t walk the streets alone
Without fear of someone
Out there
Someone he probably
Went to primary school with
Grew up with
Knew closely
And even liked
Before gang wars interrupted
And corrupted
The short innocence of his childhood life

Forced to be man
Before he was fully done
With being boy
He treats life
Without compassion
Not sure if he’ll get to 25
He’s busy living it up
You can keep your 9 to 5
He doesn’t give a
Flying …tuckus
Without the lying t’ us
He doesn’t know much about future
He’s seen enough death
Pain
And gore
In his past
To know he’s only got the present
And he lives each day
As his last

His mother took him to church
As a child
But the people there say
More than they do
At least that’s what he feels
He sees their cars
Driving off to beautiful homes
While he’s busy missing meals

His day to day
Negates what rhetoric
The pulpit spews
It seems the word of the day
Hits deaf ears
And wooden pews
He is confused
The hugs and the love
Won’t stop the buck buck
At night
Won’t fill his tummy
Won’t pay for the education
He craves so dearly
He loves to read
But reading isn’t treasured
In his neighborhood
Manhood is measured
By the action of another head
And the numbers left dead
For sport or spoils
He’s trapped by error of birth

And those elected to lead
Motivated by greed
Don’t want to issue him freedom papers
National traitors
Purporting their decisions
As the optimal solution
For a nation bereft with moral pollution
Lining their pockets
Preparing for the collapse
Of the house of cards
They built on slippery foundations
Selling out a nation
For extended vacations
In countries he’ll never visit
Or even know exists
Because he only knows the block and a half
That is “safe”
For him to be
He’s considered lucky
If he’s seen a breadfruit tree

Or even the beach

On island known as paradise
To so many unborn there
He lives in hell
Native
In a tenement shell
Waiting for the devil
To come to collect
His rents

(c) 2009 L. Ashwood

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