Just Another Number

by Nathan'ette Burdine

I'm living in a country
That does not see my face, 
Or know my name.  The only
Identity this country has given
Me is a number, 187
Anderson St.  I live in the
Quarters or what some may call
The bottoms, south sides, or ghettos
In a house with several people
Who all share the same identity
As me. We are not seen as individuals
With human emotions but figments of
This country's imagination.
They do not see my house or my surroundings
Because this country has closed its eyes to the soar site of me.  
I get up early in the morning and go to school uptown where the grass
Is green, the air is fresh, and the water is germ free. 
I walk around in amazement and question why my environment 
is not furnished with the same amenities as this place uptown.  
How is it that we black children do not have four or five grocery stores, 
gas stations, restaurants, and a school of our own?  
Why are we forced to be a statistic added to the bottom of the pile 
and shipped to this foreign place that has already decided 
that our higher education will come in the streets and in a prison library.  
My hopes and dreams do not include learning 
about Dr. King, Malcolm X, and Ghandi in the State Penitentiary. 
I tend to be added to those seeds who have uprooted, sprouted, 
and grown to branch out into society, 
maybe a doctor who heals the sick or brings a life into the world.  
I may even try
My hand at being a lawyer who moves up in the ranks and becomes a judge
Who sits on the world court.  What ever I decide, 
There is one thing I am certain of and that is I will not continue to be 
just another number lost in this country.

Just Another Number by Nathan'ette Burdine

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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