Lawrence S. Pertillar

(February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

Growing Up In the Projects

You want to know what it's like,
To grow up in the projects?
Being different and taking risks?

'Can't be that bad! '

Follow me.

'Where are we going? '

Up to the roof.

'To the roof? '

I want to show you something from my point of view.
Put your hands behind your back.

'Why? '

I'm going to tie your hands behind your back.
Then I'm going to blindfold you before I leave you alone.

I might fall off the roof.
Aren't you concerned about that? '

You'll learn to adjust.
If you want to survive.
If you can not get up from a fall?
Maybe you were too blind not to pay attention.
Some steps some folks shouldn't take.
Listening and observation is key.
Common sense is precious.

You be surprise how many lessons one learns,
Growing up in the projects.

'But my hands are tied.
And I can't see.'

I use to hear that all the time!
~Boy! Can't you see my hands are tied?
I can't see where the next dime is coming from.
And all I get from you is lip! ~

Not too many folks I knew who grew up
in the projects became victims from the experience.
In fact, most of the folks became very successful people.
But...that was a time when expectations were high.
And many years ago when folks chose to have 'some' identity
and dignity connected to the 'self' and a growth process.

Submitted: Monday, May 17, 2010
Edited: Monday, May 17, 2010

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