Harlem Get Up (Poem)

Harlem 125th Street

What’s that smell?
I just ate my vomit

Don’t look now
Here comes Harlem

“Excuse me Mrs.
Can you spare some change?

Coffee?
A donut?
Some soup from the Chinese?

I’m hungry
And tired
And living in hell

Please pay the toll when you come where I dwell…”

I’m sorry sir
I don’t have any change
I just paid my toll to your boys round the way

But I ask you so kindly to tell me what’s wrong?
Why is every man to his own where you’re from?

Why is there trash everywhere that you go?
Urine and feces on every wall?

Why can’t you get up Harlem?
Harlem get up

Don’t you know you’re worth more than a bum with a cup?

This land is your home
Whether they like it or not
So it’s your job to make do with your plot

It’s your job to tell em what’s wrong
To tell em your plight
To tell em it’s hard

To muster the strength to form your own army
And tear down these walls
And build a new Harlem

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