My friend Alford

Who am I

Who do I seem 2 be

A mothers dream?

A fathers’ nightmare?

Did my Parents look 2 me?

Did they look for me?

Who do you say I am?

Naw, you have been wrong before

question is too important for you to answer now

I will tell you

and in telling

I am helping you

You see I am the strength and passion

of a generation forgotten

I am the wealth of a people who sleeps

I am this peoples light

that must burn brightly as a lone beacon that laments to this great dark place

I represent that thing that you should not fear

Who am I?

I am the great you!

The one you should learn to respect

I am the one you will never forget

03.10.11, a friend ask me to contribute to her nephew’s homework, which was a collage of poetry that he had to turn in. Alford is his name.

The assignment was to turn in 7 poems. I asked what was his interest level in his homework assignment? She asked nephew to come to the phone and recite some of the poetry  that he had penned.  I was curious whether I was being asked to  assist an anxious  adolescent in hurrying and get his homework done, or did this young man have a genuine interest in this art of word expressions and simply wanted  input on his assignment.

To my surprise without hesitation, I heard only pause enough for him to take the phone and immediately began reciting his poetry. Alford is a 16-year-old young man, which I was happy to hear his poetic expressions. I was in a restaurant ordering my dinner, and I could not hear the detail of the two poems Alford recited, but clearly, excitement, passion and a sense of pride  was effortlessly projected from this young man as he read. I shared a few titles of poems and authors that I liked and then asked for a theme that he would like me to add to his collection. Between aunt and Alford, adolescence became the shared theme that I would tend.

The above poem is what I wrote for Alford to include in his collage on 03.10.11.

On 03.11.11, Alford was assaulted on his way to school with a non-fatal injury to the face. I am told 3 to 4 students from Renaissance, provoked and struck Alford with a brick, knocking out two of his front teeth.

Alford was alone on his way home from school when he noticed one of the assailants was video taping the incident on a camera phone when the provocation began.

Its real easy to repeat and speak on this generation’s current plight and reminisce about back in the day when things where slightly different.

I think we should collectively work to answer this generations call for help.


4 thoughts on “My friend Alford

  1. interesting poem and even more interesting story. As a mother of a young adult male. I speak with him daily about the life around him, self expectations and accountibility for his actions, and choices all the time.

    I will pray for this young man. Thank u for sharing

  2. This poem is very touching, makes me want to just hug my son and tell him how much i really love and appreciate him as the talented person that he is.
    It is very important that we as adults stand behind our youth, be them of blood related or stranger, to encourage them to express themselves in a positive manner. I applaud you sir and the aunt of this gifted young man.
    I pray that no more tragedy befalls his life, only good fortunes for him.

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