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A poem from 2667 Kipling Ave.

Darren Clarke, poet-in-residence at 2667 Kipling Avenue (Dwight Friesen/CBC)

I WONDER  by Darren Clarke

Listen audio (runs 2:37)

I Wonder
If you tried to live my life
If you tried to walk in my shoes
If you'd actually get a clue
The life we live along the Kipling Avenue
The things that we go through, the people I know who
Couldn't grow up - that's what the ghetto mentality produce
See life's alwaysbeen tough, I've seen friends stabbed, grabbed and even scuffed
While having their innocence corrupt
Like the broken-down elevators
That skip floors and get stuck
I've seen people so high on ignorance, they created religions
Now these weren't your typical idols or gods
These were masters of the self-destructive arts
Taught their followers how to hate one another
I've seen people want to kill their blood brothers

It makes me wonder
Why was I put into this situation
If I was a variable in a bigger equation
I wonder
If the media is right
If I am one of the many Rexdale birds who can't take flight
Escaping this cage called the hood
In order to see what lies on the other side
I wonder
If this was meant to be
OR if this thing called destiny was meant for me
To see all the wrongs
In order to do right

Like the girl I saw killed jay walking
So they put in a cross light
Or the young minds of 2667
That are ripe with the nectar of knowledge
Most of them around the age of 11
Bright with dreams of college

I wonder
What lies ahead this summer
When the thugs wake up from their winter slumber
And more people drop like flies
One after another

I've wondered all this time
But there's a few things I'm sure of
That everything that was just said is typical
about the ghetto lifestyle redundant and minimal
But it's not black and white
There's shades of grey
This is where I fit in my part to play
I'm sure that one day
At the price we pay for living
The elevators WILL be brand new in my building
Escalating those without means
Like the lady in the wheel chair
This trouble I've seen
Stuck in the lobby on a cold winter night
Trapped waiting for an elevator
One...two...three...but no flight

I know my place is to give positivity back to a negative community
To give kids knowledge so they have immunity
From all the naysayers and wrong doers
So they don't become another statistic or bong user
These few examples outweigh the apathy
I'm sure ... I'm SURE
Our dreams can become reality

- Darren Clarke

Resident of 2667 Kipling Avenue
Gr. 12 / North Albion Collegiate