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The Song of the Projects

Do you know that the projects sing?
Perk up your ears and just listen in
Can you hear the baby crying?
Crying for his absent mother,
The child not knowing any better,
Knows not what is happening
Because just in the other room she snores
Passed out on another one of her many benders.

Can you hear the child’s stomach growl?
And the child says, “Mother I am very hungry”
And his mother stops and looks away
In the fridge there is nothing to see,
but a slice of moldy cheese and canned sardines
She does her best to think, what to tell her only child.
Can she tell him that her food stamps were gone?
And she was waiting for a new month to come,
To be able to feed a child who needed her the most.

Can you hear the old dog barking?
Barking as people come and go,
Unsure of why all the people stumble out in groups
With eyes bright red and smelling like spoiled eggs.
The two young kids huddled up inside,
Looking out the window at all the passing strangers go.
And the dog afraid himself, stands his ground
For he knows, this home is one he must protect

A song so full of sorrow, you ask yourself,
Can a song really bring so much despair?
But as all songs go, this song gives cheer
Hear the melody turn into a joyful tune.
Can you hear a mother hum a foreign language lullaby?
As she coos and rocks her baby to sleep,
Seeing her bright future on her sleeping lids
And just like any mother wishes and hopes,
Her child would one day have more than this.

Can you hear a door closed shut?
As a father comes home and his children
Come running to hug their pop hello.
And for just a second you can hear,
A smile and a laugh fill up the entire home.
As the father sees his children,
He forgets the joint pain and exhaustion running through him
And just enjoys his children’s happiness and joy.

Can you hear the basketball bouncing on the worn concrete?
As a group of teens run with all their might, just playing to forget,
For one was a few credits short of not graduating
And another was working nights to pay for him and grandma’s rent.
Their backs drip with sweat and their brows furrow with concentration
As the ball passes from person to person
They see their future, with each other there not too far out of sight.
No matter what they were called, be it thugs or something else,
They would try and go the distance to make their families all proud.

Swish, the ball just went in. and celebration echoes throughout
The kids all bid their pop good night,
Tiny as can be, the baby snores away
The crowd disperses and the dog relaxes
Holding a tray of eggs and bacon a neighbor comes to share
And on and on the baby cries, until she silences herself
Can you hear this bittersweet song?
That tells so much and just wants to be heard.

Listen closely and listen to this special song
Oh, can you hear the projects sing?

--Stephanie G., Adult