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.