October 22, 2016

Natosha R. (age 14)

BOOTS

I don’t know who owns the boots. I see them at my bus stop in the morning. I hear the heavy boots on broken down, torn up streets where I live, but I don’t know who owns them. Me and my friends stand on the bus stop. We see the boots but don’t ask the man who wears them his name. In Liberty Square asking anything can get you killed. The man who owns the boots is dirty brown. His face is tattooed up in green and blue. The man who owns the boots wears a wife beater. He has a woman’s name tattooed on his neck. This man could be anybody. He could be a drug dealer. He could be the man who sells DVDs out of the trunk of his car. He could be the man who shot and killed my brother. I study the boots. The boots are black and made from leather. The boots shine like bullets.

from 2016 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

__________

Why do you like to write poetry?

Natosha R.: “Where I live is a fire. People choke. They burn. Poetry rises up like smoke.”