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Uprooted. (Taylor Sloey-Lafayette, LA)

"Uprooted."

When my hometown finally saw the sky
It sucker punched us in the throats
Left us breathless
It said: I’m going to keep you awake some nights without touching you…
You see in this hometown, where you learned to ride a bicycle,
Twelve year olds work 16 hour days Getting cut by corn leaves,
Winter reigns 8 months of the year
And you got grounded for dating a black boy…
…so…you left.
Blindly jumped into the nearest river
And let it wash you
Let it Carry you
Til you could see the mouth of the ocean.
And this place
The ground is so soft it sinks out from beneath your feet
In this place
The people don’t mature with their years but continue to party like college freshmen well into their 80s
This place
That’s held onto a heritage,
Unable to forget the past because they can’t even bury your dead
This place.
That was hiding the kindest pair of green eyes you’ve ever known,
This place, is a paradise.
And you wonder how the rest of the country has forgotten it,
Never really knew it,
Has been SO misguided about it.
My hometown’s lost treasures have washed away,
Pocket watches and old rings,
Pages of notebooks,
Memories and love have washed away,
and settled down here
where it builds our land
our paradise
and upon it we stand.

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