Dying for Dyett

Community Issues, Poetry

For any who don’t know, there was a hunger strike in Chicago this summer to save, Walter H. Dyett HS, the only open-enrollment high school in my area. I wrote the piece below in my anger and disgust after hearing one of my friends fell ill during the strike.

Dying for Dyett  (and Quality Education)

Why is this happening? 
Better yet, why is this happening in 
President Obama’s backyard? 
Why is this happening? 
Why have we come so far
only to be silenced and starved
of basic rights? 
We live in a first-class city only 
to be treated
like third world citizens.
Overcame three-fifths decisions,
yet the grip 
on this Rahm noose 
still has me 
screaming
              I CAN’T
BREATHE.

We’re the new refugees.
Ten years ago they called my cousin that
because she swam all night long
to escape Katrina’s wrath.
Ain’t it funny how she made it to Chiraq 
only to turn around and swim right back?
I’m sitting under this Dyett tree 
and I can see strange fruit 
staring back at me.
It’s the face of my daughter
hung up by the Rahm noose.
She’s screaming, 
MOMMY,
             I CAN’T 
BREATHE.

How is this happening in 
President Obama’s backyard? 
Why is this happening with so few
journalists standing guard?
Why have we come so far
only to be silenced and starved
of basic rights? 
Y’all thirsty for power.
We’re just hungry for knowledge
and so, we know who’s right. 
And so, for Dyett, we fight!

-Tyra Owens

#FightForDyett #WeAreDyett

©2015 Tyra C. Owens

@sincerelytyra

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