Writings and walls

By TYRONE VELEZ

I wrote verses on a wall
And I got thrown to jail

I am told to lick this graffiti clean
And be a good citizen

Why, I haven’t tasted good food lately
Because I’m surviving

You see I came down from the mountains
Where forests once gave me shelter

But that forest was leveled
By a chainsaw and bombs

Our rivers once sang
But now they are muted by mud and mines

I learned to write
But I am told this is dangerous

So my school was forced shut
And so is my mind

I came down thinking it’s Christmas
But your wall said I can’t sleep here

My elders once welcomed you to our land
Then you took that away

And also our clothes and our dance
You made it now your own brand

I am left a stranger
I am called a danger

But I just want
To speak my word

So I scrawled that on the only place
That can make you see me

The walls you want clean
The city you dream

You find someday this is not home
But your underbelly

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