Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"College Grad: Indentured to serve"

"College Grad: Indentured to serve"

I walked out of high school
with 13 years rolled into a diploma.
I was a young black male on the rise,
groomed, shirt slightly unbuttoned,
sporting my suit neither noosed nor tied.

After the graduation caps rained,
that thunderous applause came to a fade
and I knew I had weathered the storm.
So I folded all of the pain from my gain
into a paper plane, found the closest garbage can
and aimed.

I stood on the shore of my success,
calling out to that sea of scholarships and grants,
waiting and wading, just jumping and waving at the tides.
Sadly, that glass bottle with the letter inside never replied.
Financial Aid was a lie; it couldn’t even afford to buy me a free ride.

And just my luck, Uncle Sam pulled up to my house
in a dented Chevy Venture with a taxi sign on the roof
that spelled out: “C-O-L-L-E-G-E”.
So I forgot my best interests, listened to society,
packed my bags, opened the side door and stepped on in.

He threw his arm over the passenger seat,
looked back and spoke with a grin:

“And you don’t think you can afford to roll with me?
Well, for a fixed rate on your liberty, I will loan
you thousands of dollars you have never seen.
With your degree, you can get a high-paying job
and make so much money your wallet will scream.
You’ll be swimming in waves of green from sea to shining sea.
Then you can buy you a nice car,a big house,
and find you a wife to pop out 2.5 babies.
You can diet, straighten your nappy-ass hair, dye it,
and then bleach and brace your crooked off-white teeth
to get that picket fence smile like the stars on TV.
And forget bonds, you can invest in your wants and neglect your needs.
Then, as you sleepwalk in the chubby smog of your American Dream,
you can cough up the money—to pay back to me. All you gotta do
is sign on the promissory dotted line. Come now neph, we family!
I WANT YOU to trust in yo' Uncle Sammie.”

So I looked him dead in his dollar sign eyes,
and told that drug lustin' love rustin' oil slick talkin’
outta his gas guzzlin’ elephant donkey ass mind
relative of mine, "Fine, Now shut up and drive!"

Three years passed, and I’m teary-eyed, wallet dried,
in the driver’s seat with my hands shackled the wheel;

I’m shackled to steer
this taxi of government taxing
and I drive like a road-raged
slave tryin’ to escape his fate.
But after 4 years of speeding
through subsidized red-lights and fines,
there is no mo’ Moses conducting the ride,
no mo' boarders to cross to get off the plantation,
no mo' Mason-Dixon line.

It took me until my senior year of college to learn
how to be a wooly-eyed, black sheep lost in the herd.
And after all of my diplomas and degrees burn,
I will still be a field nigger, indentured to serve—
for the rest of my cottonpickin’ life.


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