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part 1…us as we are

By Bennie Herron

i always thought
babies came from dancing

i owned every color of
corduroyed pants
they called me fire starter

i ran the fastest on our street
i had the biggest afro

i knew all the latest dances
from the whop to the cabbage

i had game at football
my new pumas were hand me
downs but they were still fresh

i saw beat street 6 times
electric boogaloo twice and
i knew every word of my radio
by l.l. cool j

i refereed every fight
i instigated

i went to school with bloods
that stapled cuffs into their

i thought everybody had a
coffee can full of cooking oil
on their stove top

i thought america
was sam cooke slapping us
with his wails under a
velvet love painting

i thought all little girls
wore two tight pony tails
with greasy side burns

i thought everybody
had ashy knees and
played hide and seek
under street lights using
green utility boxes for
home base

i thought i could go to
the olympics for kickball

i just knew everybody ate
pickles with blow pops on
the inside

i thought we could all
sing and dance

i just knew everybody
thought isaac hayes looked
like santa claus

my favorite kool-aid
was the red kind

i thought everybody's
pastor had a perm

i thought all little boys
liked the little light skinned
girl with the “good” hair

i thought everybody had
a little white boy for a
best friend

i thought everybody put
lawry’s seasoning salt
on popcorn

i thought this was america

Added: Friday, June 3, 2016  /  Used with permission.
Bennie Herron

Bennie Herron was born in San Diego, CA to a blue-collar family. He had a challenging but fulfilling childhood rooted in unconditional love. His childhood was full of stories that have been the undercurrent of his writing and social advocacy. This also laid the foundation for his interest in social work and academic prosperity. He always knew and believed that one way he could transcend negative circumstances was through education. This would also allow him to be a part of the solution regarding issues that plagued his community and the world alike.

Bennie Herron has performed in venues across the United States and Mexico. In 2012 his first full length poetry collection titled greens was published on the Tintavox Independent Press, San Fransisco, CA.

Other poems by this author