I Grew Up Here

by Tina Nero

I grew up here, 
on these streets that constantly called my name, 
in a place full of shame. 
When fear seamed to consume me, red bricked wall hid my pains. 

I grew up here, 
where corners were filled with hustlers, 
tryin' to make a dollar or two, 
where government funded programs gave poor families food. 
Where it was normal so see someone w/out shoes. 

I grew up here, 
With hall ways that smelled like pee, 
with horny bums trying to put their hands on me. 
In a rough hood where mothers raised their families. 

I grew up here, 
where you could hear people cry out at night, 
kids running from gang fights, 
where most prayers to GOD were to make things right.

I grew up here, 
in a place where no one cared who I was, 
where people spent more money on 20in dubs. 
In a place where there was no love.

I grew up here, 
with the homeless man begging on the street, 
where families of 14 lived in three room aprtments with food or heat.

I grew up here, 
where the dogs got more respect than their masters did. 
Where selling drugs was put first and going to school was your second gig 
these were amongst other things I didn't understand as a kid. 

I grew up here, 
in this neighborhood of rough necks, pimps and sluts, 
in a place that made you feel as if going down was the only way up, 
where your attitude towards life was fucked.

I grew up here, 
where you felt ashamed and scared to go to church, 
in a space covered with dirt, 
living in a home where enemies lurked.

I grew up here, 
in the hood on 12th and Roosevelt, 
in high rise projects with full of people who feel what I felt. 
In a broken home with limited hopes and dreams, 
where the cloud covered the sun and quickly faded the leaves.

I grew up here, 
in a place where I was always on the run, 
where the living choice ofr my brothers were to carry guns. 
In a place where abandoned playgrounds used to be fun. 

I grew up here, 
in that time in this space I grew UP.

I Grew Up Here by Tina Nero

© 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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