As he gazed from behind cold blood shot eyes, he sees the helplessness in the eyes of his citizens. Baltimore. He is big and strong, insecure and naïve. His goals are so very far just like a distant star he can’t fathom holding; though when he tried he was only shunned, banished to violence, illness, solitude, and ignorance. He knew that there were “working girls” turning tricks in the bowls of his stomach, drug raids in his ears and junkies beg at his blacked finger tips. He wants to see the light. Clean streets, better education, maybe even a flower or two, but the “what ifs” fade when the fog of greed wraps herself around young Baltimore. Disease and hatred soon followed behind her. Baltimore may be a broken bone, but he wishes that we keep believin’ and call him home. He tries to resurrect himself from the ashes. A phoenix in him rises after flames destroy him from the inside to the outside. He looks up to his hero Mr. Washington, who gives free love in his streets, but in Baltimore alleys it’s not that easy or cheap. He keeps his head held high through the trials of life. His scholars stand up like hairs on his arms. They keep him going. They are the few in the city who know that Baltimore is their only hero the one who stands tall through his plight. He may not be as beautiful as little Boston when it rains, he may not be as glamorous as Madame New York or as majestic as Mr. Washington (to him they cover their faces of failure, prettier and cleaner but not any better off) ; but his humbling beginnings gives him something his counterparts can only dream of having. Perseverance through his agonizing defeat, wisdom through his many mistakes and the faith that he will carry in the legacy of his counties and rise toward the luminous warm sun with flowers of opportunity blooming from the nape of his neck, while thorns and weeds wilt away.
April 3, 2011