question

Since When?

Up at night with God discussing habits
Exchanging knowledge, conversing ’bout supreme mathematics
Coming to clever conclusions again and again
At the end of our session, his question was “since when?”
Do we not compliment our women but address them as ho’s and bitches?
Hang around cats, and knowing rats like it’s cool to
congregate with snitches?
Since When?
Do we support chumps that abuse our mothers, daughters and sisters?
Let these youngsters disrespect our elders by using their name
instead of Miss, Mrs. or Mister?
Since When?
Has the government stopped the rhetoric they spoke in the Declaration
Loosening up the rules in the book they used to run this Nation?
Since When?
Did we start hating each other acting like a bunch of crabs in a bucket?
Giving up on the next generation, no influence and just saying “fuck it”
Since When?
In the black community, we stopped offering what we got?
Can’t go next door to borrow sugar – too much have and have-nots
Since When?
Could we not sit out on the porch without bullets flying by at night?
What happened to settling our differences by talking even probably a fair fight?
Since When?
Did shooting become so manly and the final say?
Why did these cowards shut down Ms. Harriet’s candy house
by robbing and assaulting her yesterday?
Since When?
Did we let music and television raise our kids or run from
opportunity when it knocks or kicks the door in?
Since When?
In the streets there is no respect, love or loyalty?
When did we start treating our elders like lepers instead of royalty?
Since When?
Did disciplining my child get equated with abuse
or the 360 (degrees) I spit get twisted, becoming obtuse?
Since When?
Would I even have to write this to get my peoples attention?
We’re supposed to be further down the line, steadily rising to ascension…
I’m just saying, since when?

– Thomas D. Payne

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No Answers

Why, can we put a man on the moon and make the guilty pay, but we can’t stop world hunger

or find a cure for AIDS?

Why are we always in a cross about this thing called religion, are we not searching for the same thing

whether Muslim, Jew or Christian?

Why has the country been at war for the past fourteen years, over a presidents lie, people die

while their loved ones shed tears.

Why are people now getting upset about the economy?  Is it because big business and

corporations are now losing money?

Why does it cost more to incarcerate and less to educate me, but you won’t help me go to college

instead, you’d rather lock me up and throw away the key?

Why does America want other governments to fold, becoming democracies, when these

people have lived this way for centuries before the United States was a country?

Why didn’t the government fix the levees they predicted would fail if New Orleans got hit

by a storm like Katrina, now these folks have no home, no city or can’t get paid by

insurance or help by FEMA?

Why are Blacks underrepresented in the social landscape, over represented in the courts,

minorities in the business professions but a majority in entertainment and sports?

Why does it feel we are not rising out of our plight but sinking deeper, can I be my brothers

keeper instead of his reaper?

Why when the rich prosper, the laws in effect are all good; but when they lose money, laws

change, affecting the trailer parks and the hood?

Why when Sri Lanka got hit by the tsunami, we sent over a hundred mil in aid, but on the

home front, we can’t find the money to help our elders pay for medical aid?

Why was it so easy to find Sadaam, the leader of a whole country, but couldn’t discover

Bin Laden in almost forever who only commands a small army?

Why when I write lines like this, pointing out Black and White issues, they call me a bigot?

What? No one loves the truth anymore? Why can’t I just be a realist?

– Thomas D. Payne