Spoken word artist Lloyd Garrison returns to remind us that we must address children living in poverty
My Shoes Are Heavy I wish more adults had a heart that includes enough blood to show someone else’s kid some love. Right now that’s all I need. I know you would never guess my story by just looking at me even if I gave you a million tries, but I need someone who at least tries to understand me. Have you ever wondered where your next pair of shoes will come from? Have you ever experienced parents walking out of your life? Have you ever thought where you will sleep at night? I have and I still have nightmares. I guess that is what my Therapist meant by Trauma. The truth is… I have enough trauma for two. Did you know I’ve been missing for over 24 hours? It’s not too late to send out an Amber alert, but someone not wearing a badge or riding around in an unmarked car should already know where I am. Why does it feel like I’m the problem? All I know is my shoes are heavy, my laces are tight, something just ain’t right. My days and nights are spent feeling unappreciated, under-valued, and set apart. Most of them haven’t even earned the right for someone to buy them a play-station 4… while kids like me are trying to do the right things… but I’m still broke and poor. Trade places with me… I am so tired of meeting new people who keep barking out instructions at me like I’m a dog… truth is: I would give anything to be someone’s pet at least I would have a consistent roof over my head. I’m not a bad kid… I just need some seasoning… better yet, a reason to not run away again to hide my pain. Most of the adults I’ve seen seem more interested in shooting dice than being nice to a kid like me. I could just use a hamburger and a soda every now and then… is that too much to ask? Even though my school record says D’s and F’s, my grades are the least of my concerns. My life is a pass/fail course… you either learn how to survive or you die in the streets. And who will care? There is no premium on a kid’s life anymore. There are millions of kids out there just like me… but do I make the cut coach? I am sure you can find some time for me, can’t you? You got cable, cars, and houses. I don’t even have an internet connection, a computer, a tablet, a TV, even a bed that I can call my own. Don’t get it twisted let me hold these J’s you see on my feet… I just don’t want people to think I’m poor. When you are used to being sent to different group homes, treatment facilities, foster homes, and schools as much as I am… you get numb… and your heart gets cold. Don’t feel sorry for me. I am taking steps to turn my life around. Things won’t always be this way. Don’t think for a second that I’m asking you for a handout. All I want is a hand-up I can stand on my own 2 feet. I just need someone who cares someone that will do more than just stare at me and watch me skip school…. someone that will take time out of their busy day to see the truth about me: my heavy shoes are what’s really weighing me down.
©Lloyd Garrison – 2021
Mr. Lloyd L. Garrison is the CEO of Hidden G.E.M.S. by LG. Lloyd received his Bachelor of Arts (2001) and Master of Arts (2005) degrees in English from Miami University in Oxford, Oh. LLoyd’s goal is to spread messages of hope, love, peace, and truth through the power of the spoken word.
For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.
#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.
If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !