Andy Wade –

“Be twice as good”

I never heard these words
It was enough to try my best
And when I didn’t
When I lived into
My adolescent boyhood

I
Never
Feared
For my life

“Be twice as good”
“Keep your hands out of your pockets”
“Don’t make sudden moves”
“Don’t assert yourself”

These words were never spoken
And so, in public, never considered

No guilt
No fear
No modifying my behavior
No stifling my rights

When I spoke my mind I was
“Thoughtful”
“Intelligent”
“A leader”

Never was I
“Uppitiy”
“Disrespectful”
“Out of line”

I could wear the clothes I wanted
without a care in the world
My hoodie was just a hoodie

In seventh grade when I shoplifted
when I changed price tags
never did I worry
those adolescent acts might get me killed
When I was caught, no police were called

All these “small things”, “little things”
I took for granted
Influenced how I see the world

How the world sees me

And it matters

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