A Poetic Look at Teenhood in Riverwest

by Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle There is an abundance of talent right here in our neighborhood. The children. The teens hanging on the corner. They are our future. We hear that statement and make it quite often. How do we view them? Are we afraid? Disappointed? Proud? Do they want to be our future? How do they feel? Are we “grown-folks” listening? LISTEN. Teenagers by Christina Campbell, 15 Friends of many races All got different faces Just want to have fun Parents always on our cases Teenagers can’t love Oldest age you live is 16 Then you’re sent above Police following us at night They’re scared we might get in trouble Teenagers can’t even cuddle We’re teenagers So we are judged as gang-bangers We just ghetto kids that talk slang Is that the wrong thang?Everynight Why do we have to wake up to a BANG We’re just a gang of friends Who wish they could get a Mercedes Benz Yeah, we love our Kin But sometimes we’re tired of seeing them Can’t we walk to the store safely just to get a Slim Jim? Do you guys care about our depression? Why do these people have to ask all of these questions? Always asking for an explanation. Sometimes we might be bad. But have you ever asked if we needed air? We’re just mad. It’s not fair Do you even care? Can’t even talk on the phone So what? Yeah I’m a teen But I still like ice cream cones Why do you always think I’m at a boy’s house One day I’m a bounce!