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Born Anew At Each A.M.

by Piri Thomas
Berkeley, California

The street's got kicks man,
like a bargain shelf,
In fact, cool-breeze, it's got
love just like anyplace else.

It's got high-powered salesmen
who push mucho junk,
And hustlers who can swallow
you up in a chunk.

It's got sewers that swallow
all the street pours down its throat
It's got hope wearing
an old over-coat.

It's got lights that shine up
the dark and make the scene like new
It sells what you don't need
And never lets you forget what you blew.

It's got our beautiful children
living in all kinds of hell
hoping to survive and making it well
Swinging together in misty darkness
With much love to share
Smiling a Christ-like forgiveness,
That only a ghetto cross can bear.

The streets got life, man,
like a young tender sun,
and gentleness like
long awaited dreams to come.

For children are roses with nary a thorn,
forced to feel the racist's scorn,
Our children are beauty
with the right to be born.

Born anew at each a.m.
Like a child out of twilight,
flying toward sunlight,
Born anew at each a.m.

Piri Thomas. Photo by Nic Paget-Clarke.Piri Thomas, poet, writer and storyteller, is the author of the sixties classic Down These Mean Streets and many other books including Stories from El Barrio, and Seven Long Times. In 1997 he released his second CD of poetry and music - his first Sounds of the Street was issued in 1994. To read and see much more of Piri Thomas visit his web site The World of Piri Thomas.

Photo of child by Yolanda Piñeda. Photo of Piri Thomas by Nic Paget-Clarke.

Published in In Motion Magazine, August 1, 1995