02 April, 2021: What Lawmakers Really Mean When They Say "High Poverty Districts"
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What Lawmakers Really Mean When They Say 'High Poverty Districts'
By Quartez Harris
what we do know for certain is that their low property taxes are a result of their own undoing. they should mow the lawn, gather all the beer caps, tape their blinds. in exchange, their poor property values will grow gold chains and platinum teeth. on their streets are holes in the walls with black churches screwed inside each one of them. these churches should empty out the pockets of their offerings - feed the mouths of neighborhood schools instead of preaching for parity. the audacity to solicit ... but can’t even pull weeds out from their own mouths. they get what they ruined. broken homes breed broken schools: cause and effect. bellowing for change? change is supposed to crawl from the birth canal at home. lucky we handed over a building to cradle their babies while they devoured drugs for dinner, while licking the faces of their flat screens. ridiculous how they don’t see us as gods. urban communities should bow to the schools we built from marshlands. what will their children learn at home? how to dissect a blunt? how to spoon feed guns as sunflowers? how to kill each other faster? these schoolhouses keep the lights on inside their kids' bodies. urban children don’t give teachers a reason to teach. only reasons to monitor. next, we should install new locks inside their throats
“What Lawmakers Really Mean When They Say ‘High Poverty Districts’” by Quartez Harris, from We Made It To School Alive. Twelve Arts Press. 2020. Used by permission of the author.
Quartez Harris, born in Springfield, Ohio, is the author of the full-length collections We Made It To School Alive and Nothing, But Skin (Writing Knights Press, 2014). He is the first recipient of the Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence fellowship from Twelve Literary Arts. His work appeared in the poetry anthology, Garden of Black Joy (Wise Ink Creative Publishing), and he was selected a Baldwin House Fellow and featured reader for the 2019 Cleveland Drafts Festival. Courted by McKinnon Literary agency to produce his debut young adult novel, he is an educator who lives in Cleveland with his son.
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