June 2018

by Patrićyonna Rodgers

Patrićyonna Rodgers is a Junior at Overton High School and hopes to change her community and the world through her words. Learn more at www.southernword.org



See I ain’t never been the type to question things
But lately my mind has been weeding out these discrepancies
And one question that comes to mind is, “What’s Truth?”
What’s truth when I see the new hotel being built
But we can’t house the homeless?
What’s Truth when America wastes millions of pounds of food
But we can’t feed the hungry?
What’s Truth when it’s easier to buy drugs than fresh food in some of our communities?
And What’s Truth
When I don’t feel safe in my school anymore and every time I hear a fire alarm I’m running to the door?
What’s truth when James Baldwin still speaking relatable
And if I don’t have long hair and a flat tummy or white skin
I’m deemed incompatible with America’s definition of beauty?
And I’ve heard of this thing called the American dream
But the American dream don’t seem too pristine because
Every time I turn I see someone in poverty
And I know change takes time
But, change, come on, because we been waiting a while
So I’m left wondering, “What is the Truth, America?”
Because my people are getting killed by the police and
My president trying to tell my Hispanic friends to leave.
So from my viewpoint truth don’t look too cute.
And, America, I’m not trying to rain on your parade
But if we’re really “Home of the Free, Land of the Brave,”
Then we have a long way to go to walk that truth

Background photograph by Carla Ciuffo, www.carlaciuffo.art

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