What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Can you answer the question above? What happens to a dream that has been deferred? Harlem, this once vibrant city, which was a hub of intellectual thought and artistic innovation, now, appears to be an obvious symbol for a group of people that have been continuously subjected to alienation and isolation. These poor souls are disillusioned and have become restless over time. They’re smothered like fried pork chops in profanity, sex, drug abuse and prostitution. A silent war to say the least has been declared and for many they’re an undiagnosed depressed group with a heart of gold.
This philosophical question plagues not only a community but it imbrue the lives of all humans that endure pain and suffering. It taints their spirit and it stains their soul. Walk and talk to me beloved. What are the images that come to mind which ignite your imagination?
As I sat on the ledge of a window and gazed out at the hustle and bustle below of my 2nd floor brownstone flat, I noticed Crack Head Pam, a single mother of 4, leading one of her customers down the broken basement steps of an abandon, rat infested, rampant water bugs, crawling building, stepping over empty crack vials and garbage to perform her $5 oral dissertation. Pamela was to sing opera while attending The School of Performing Arts two years ago but never made it through the first semester because she had gotten pregnant, again. She found herself studying street economics while wrapping her blistered and chapped lips around a crack pipe and male extremities for chumps change, while her children played outside unattended.
I’d just gotten home from working a 12 hour shift at the local cubical farm factory. It’s the conveyer belt out to pasture style of an environment that would make any cattle feel at home as it conveniently lined bodies up and lead us straight out to the slaughter house. Oh, how the stressful pressure would weight down on my lower region as the straps in the seat left my back with an imprint and excruciating pain. The throbbing intensified the ache, the curve of scoliosis and the hint of rain in the air began to do it’s twisted tango. The tightness in my chest was an all too familiar sign that an asthma attack was about rear its ugly head.
I couldn’t help but to think about my own dreams that have been deferred; a biology major and college dropout who reluctantly traded his Tap & Pell grants to work for the City as a Dietary Aide for the Department of Corrections for Men. Maybe I’d run into my long lost father since I heard he’s in and out of the system. My first born was soon to be expected. I was excited about his birth but will openly admit I felt some type of a way about the circumstances in which the trap was lured, baited then translated to my mother. Bitter, I was because I didn’t want to be seen, at least not in public with what was consider to be a mistake; the result of a woman and the agony of a poor choice in life and in judgment of character. No one to place blame. Nobody to point the finger at besides myself.
For the first time in a while, I had a chance to reflect on my past life and I often think about the dreams I’ve postponed.
Heaven is at the foot of Mother….