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What If? By Shae. Cunningham (Team Messiah)

I have known Shae for some years now and she has always had such a big and kind heart. She exemplifies what it means to love without conditions. Her relationship with God is her foundation and something that I have always admired. Shae has the ability to tap into the deepness within, drawing out inspiration for all those around her. This Poem reveals how much pain and hurt she has felt in and for her community, and she poses this mind expanding question; which is more of a possibility…what if things were different? ~RIH Facilitator Geoffrey Gill 

What If? "What if?" in the middle of a blue sky with trees around it. Perspective taken from the ground looking up.

What happens in the neighborhoods where children are overshadowed by the decay and they no longer laugh or play the way they used to, 

A place where young boys choose to follow figures who had no father figures who become casualties for a war for their drug king before their adolescence. 

Becoming murals to be forgotten and only to be remembered by their laugh lines, pictures, and eventually chalk lines and yellow tape, 

A young tragedy like Romeo and Juliet except the streets is the Juliet where young Romeos become the prey and become entangled in this dangerous love affair and drink the poison that results them to become misguided lights and lead them to extinction. 

A place where young girls have to grow up mentailly before their bodies do , Be mothers before their bodies do, they become mothers first to their brothers and sisters because momma has to work 2 jobs to support the family due to their absent father, 

They become young mothers before they become women and deal with the harsh realities of becoming single mothers and not graduating high school, Leaving behind a string of dreams on the pavement and giving their lives up for their child. 

A place where there are undone recreational floors and winter splinters, no nets with hoops finding their joy on a half done basketball court dreaming big with their jersey and shorts of being basketball players and preparing their life for the courts, big dreams and wanting more, 

What if there were enough programs for every urban community for kids to become who they want to be doctors, lawyers, scientist, 

What if black boys were getting the same education like suburban kids they would learn math in the classroom instead of learning math on the streets to whip drugs. 

What if black girls had the same opportunities and access to free programs like ballet and jazz instead of being video girls where they go in filthy game and put their bodies and morals up show,

What if she was taught to love herself, fear no one, demand respect and demonstrate respect when she walk in the door? 

What if she was on the tv and saw herself on primetime hour instead of the video girl, what if? 

By Shae. Cunningham ( Team Messiah)