Is it or is it not enough time to make a change?


When it all comes down to fighting we do what we gotta do and put our parents up for the blame


Brown’s vs Aubrey’s are you ready?

It’s either kill or be killed, life or death so are you in or are you out

Cause I wanna change these ways with kindness

And stop all the violence


Day by day somebody end up getting killed

When you mad you take a life because you don’t know how to feel


Take a few steps in my shoes and see life how I see it

Tell me how you like it and if you wanna be in it


In Oakland where I stay people get hurt everyday

Parents can’t even let their child outside by themselves just to play

I don’t even feel safe when I gotta walk home from school everyday


Losing family almost every 2 to 3 weeks thinking it was from health cause

It was all a lie!

Gangs, drugs, and violence was the reason most of my family was all gone


Lies flow in and out my brain

Stressing deepening my pain

Cold blood flowing through my weak veins


Bullets flyin People dyin others are crying not knowing who to blame

People killing each other just for the fame


Growing up I was a struggler

So don’t ever judge a book by its cover


Just know that I’m here

It ain’t nun I fear

Pain been happening for too many years

It ain’t a day I awaken thinking that family members that’s gone is here

People diyin left to right, right to left

One night I got a phone call about my brother being shot 22 times and 3 bullets went to his chest

My heart is getting weaker and I don’t know what’s next


All this pain in my heart I’m glad I’m still alive

Just keep praying because god is by our side


A city where gangs, drugs, and gunplay stand

This is my life…. I stand in Oakland  


Artist Statement

For my modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet I decided to rewrite the prologue into a poem based off of my life and what’s happening in Oakland. Right now there are lots of gangs, drug dealers, shootings and it’s impacting other families especially me and my family. Since there are a lot of colored people where I live there’s always something going on. Either somebody fighting or dying, they act like they can’t get along so they go and get their other members in their gang and they meet up just to have a murder brawl. Next thing a person knows, half of them are dead. This hurts because we are killing our own kind instead of lifting each other up.  A key line from my poem I want to emphasize is “Bullets flyin People dyin others are crying not knowing who to blame.” I added this part of my poem in here because it connects back to everything. I said people are killing each other and when someone dies nobody wants to take the blame so we don’t know who to blame. Therefore this piece is representing these things based off my life.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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