Dear Birmingham by Unhindered Reign

My New City I thought I could trust you.

But 3 years in,

and 12 years old

and I already know of shots fired,

but I’ll never snitch.

I’ll be quiet,

shh.

Justice focuses within the moments of my silence. I’m only a boy, who fears dark lit corners, chain linked dogs, practiced motto’s that jeopardize lives for a quick rich,

and the same mentality that made the street dargs show more affection to their pit bulls

than to their ‘bitch’. God of big cities hold me tight.

I was Young enough to play curby and English chips after school,

after school,

with the team,

wag1

walk through town centres centred at the heart of bull.

This is where we convene.

Young people, sharing days of age’s of 12 – 18; the future’s human energy, mostly used to stroll now

between big people,

city vibe situations

and urban dusted locations.

We ramp, about, by a KFC

across a CEX close to a Maccy D’s,

(If not found here)

Oi, where are you?

The Maccie’s on the ramp.

Safe.

Cool? Bless.

So I was here and everywhere else in between, rolling with my

we, the products of our environment

little cities, my boys, Bredrins from summer school before we were year 7 crews, spitting bars for our individuality but planning a uniform with bandanas. Badman’s

Some with bad manners. Others learners from bad men.

Some with bad mother’s

Some with no mothers. Some with fathers.

Most grown up by fighters. Street whackers,

associated with street rappers,

known to us out of respect as olders

Known to their streets as everyday frontline soldiers

and holding on to the postcodes, they rep.

and represent.

When I’ve been alone, I’ve found myself walking between these streets that speak in code associated songs or known signs. Busses were all day traveling with them too. I wasn’t oblivious to it, in my mind, Gang life was subtle. It was the silence of the city that impacted me. My endz were blue.

New city I thought I could trust you. I thought when I left, cut loose from the over turned over turned over turned over the pages of my history. I thought when I flipped and found a new chapter away from things I don’t speak of till this day, that I’d be free. Yea yea yea call me naive but I’ve already seen snooker halls closed for smoke screens hiding grown man fingers creeping up and under lil’ girl skirts in my hometown. I didn’t need that shit in my life then and I don’t need it now. But big city, you real funny.

You full of love sometimes and full of spite most days,

your spiteful hate of immigrant change. I’ve heard you say “I don’t get why they don’t speak English. We’re in England speak English.”

But I’m trying my best to find a home away from ishorouganaim/ home and I search for it in a boy whose mother tongue keeps his roots tight. So…

Ndebele

I run to highways late at night and close my eyes tight, ‘cuz passing cars sometimes sound like the lullaby of island tides, If your homesick enough. It’s easy to be homesick in a city so grey you have to remind yourself that the sky is actually blue. When the heavens are a rouse to hide a fake, cowardice sun, and drunks think ignorance is all games and fun this freezer country excels at making me exceptionally angry.

But don’t be … here … people repress.

and this city wanna act like it’s the only thing I have left,

But this city is the only thing you have left and it is hard to appreciate this platinum place, that without too much change has been a catalyst for me to find purity in pollution. To cherish silence when living in violent sides. It’s given us sanctuaries

in places, in people.

Birmingham caught the best of us.

It opened up its reckless love and in its breakdown

it showed us,

men throwing cigarette butts out of speeding cars. Tattoos

and sunset skylines in youthful irises. blisters …

… on yuh back foots,

New creps with a fresh dust print

stepped pun by a rangate idiot

Rigged coin flips

and gambled bets

a city with more sense than regrets

a space to let and free parking with 24/7 access

so, stop and see this city where

we roam on strips of streets

that offer: an array of cuisine, busy grime music and cheap air.

Nah it’s expensive to breathe here … Oi! Tell ‘em again. Cuz broke days are the worse days daysavers don’t last to the next day, hey!

and when I cried about it

you held me big city. When I was hungry

you fed me small city,

When hot water was no more, you always had family with a kettle ready.

and they say you can never truly appreciate a land until you’ve had your first heart break there, that the re-growth process begins when

you mix the soil with your tears, and Birmingham you’ve given me more than my fair share, but yet still

I find a funny kind of comfort here.

kind comfort here. Thank you.

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