I Am From

Latisha Ellis

I am from bikes laid out in the front yard while little bad-ass kids run around in the streets
where the only colors allowed in your crayon box are either red or blue
I am from the only way to make it is to dribble a ball, rap a line or run track
but I come also from strong black mothers raising their children making ends meet
where the air smells of cornbread and collard greens
and a boy named Trey plays basketball all day and night
I am from bullets spraying the ground like a rain shower
where supply and demand is weed, pills, and coke
and making it to 21 is too old to die too soon
when you turn around and there’s a gun to your back
where mothers miss meals so we kids never go hungry
where we break fire hydrants as a way to cool off
and it’s the dope dealers paying for formula and diapers and bibs
where 50 cents gets us a pop from the truck that sells ice cream
I am who I am ‘cause where I’m from made me
where we walk by faith and not by sight
I am from where I am, as you can see

about the author
Latisha Ellis is a spoken word artist who learns best from her elders and life’s experiences. She
dreams of speaking before an audience to share her words. She is 24 years old and currently
incarcerated at Dayton Correctional Institution until 2018.