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A balled up fist with black background
Photo by Rajan Alwan on Unsplash

Streets were hard on me so I’m hollow inside
Too proud to sit back and swallow my pride
Fist balled tight with my back against the wall
Fighting the world and I’ll be damned if I fall

Labeled a menace while protecting my image
Was all I had looking hard even hauling ass
Smoking bud looking up to all the local thugs
Always returned to the hood because I felt loved

Mama wasn’t there she was too strung on drugs
Entered this world of pain November twenty-one
Nineteen eighty-five I was barely alive
Only weighed four pounds but still I survived

I’ve been fighting ever since my first days of life
At times I thought maybe I just should have died
I’ve been drunk before with thoughts of suicide
With too much pride to physically break down and cry

So I decided to bottle it all up inside
Trained myself to forget and believe my own lies
They say let it all out even the strong cry
But as I look to the sky my eyes are bone dry

Streets were hard on me so I’m hollow inside
Too proud to sit back and swallow my pride
Fist balled tight with my back against the wall
Fighting the world and I’ll be damned if I fall

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Aaron London is a poet incarcerated in California.