I am from a two-sided tree,
where life isn’t always as dreamed
where people laugh if you say thank you or please

I am from the town
where sideshows run the streets
where all you see on people’s feet
are Jordans and Nikes

I am from gunshots
to RIP someone, to every corner
to crying moms asking why?
where police lift guns instead of tasers
and say it was all an accident.

I am from church on Sunday
where parents say don’t do what I did, stay in school.

I am from seeing parks become smoking spots
to tire marks every street to liquor stores every corner
from seeing people posted at liquor stores
where everyone needs a grill to smile.

I am from the city
where you get looked down at for who you are.
where people say you’ll never make it

I am from Oakland
Born and raised

Photo by allaboutgeorge



  1. Tevy 4 years ago

    Roman, your poem was amazing. I loved the structure of the poem and the things you described in it were very meaningful. I come from a very different world so this poem really made me see things in a different way. I don’t know if I will ever live in a reality like yours but you should not get looked down upon because I think you have a real talent for writing. Good Job!

  2. Natalia 4 years ago

    gang gang

  3. Callie 4 years ago

    I absolutely love your poem. Although I live in a very different place than you do, your writing gives me a mental image of your town and what you see. I could not imagine being in your situation and experiencing what you have experienced; however, I feel that it is important to try to understand the perspectives of others. Great job!

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