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Poem: Born Ready

Facility: Finger Lakes Residential Center, New York
Teacher: Jeff Spence
Poet: Marquan

POEM TITLE: Born Ready

Born Ready


I was born in a prison


This is my home


A prison where I was born


This is where I live alone.



I hear people speak of freedom


But it’s a myth to have it


I want to play basketball


But I was born to be a savage.



The color of my skin made it worst


As if it were a sin to be a black baby


I love being African American


If I was white would the cops not hate me.



If I didn’t hang out late to play ball


The basketball dream is a waste of time


Bang! Bang! Gunshots time to go home


You in the black hoody, FREEZE! I stopped on the dime.



The cops asks me where’s the gun did you toss it


I got the shooter he yells I turned to look and get maced


I don’t own a gun or kill people this is wrong


Manslaughter 25 to life the judge states I didn’t beat the case.



It was a setup I was the only black in the lineup


The 3 other white men look like crooks but I’m black


I get A’s in school so I can hoop in college


The corrupt system assumes I shot bullets like a quarterback.



I told them about the scholarship to UCLA for ball


I’m a senior none of that exile that I’m from the hood


If I was white and rich, the judge would love me


White kids “accidently” kill every day like it’s all good.



The term freedom has lost my faith


Black people having it takes a wish from a well


Honestly blacks are still slaves to me


Giving us life so we are forced to get comfortable in cells.