I remember waking up and wanting to run outside with my friends.
I remember going door to door asking parents to play with their kids.
We’d get to every house until we had an army of children filling the streets with laughter.
We’d play hide and seek in the backyards.
We’d block off the roads for street hockey while someone was always on the look out, ready to scream “car.”
But the best was when we’d have water fights, so bad our parents wouldn’t have to take out the sprinklers.
And my fondest memory was riding our bikes through the streets to the local forest, having adventures no one could believe.
It was a new world.
I remember when the police officers would drive through the communities and wave at us.
They’d stop to ask about today’s adventures making sure we were safe.
I remember wanting to be like them.
I remember the unity and the love.
But I remember growing up.
And I wish I never did.
I would wake up and I’d want to stay inside.
I would no longer go door to door because I was tired of kids saying they couldn’t hang out with me anymore.
There was no more laughter filling the streets.
No more adventures or water fights.
Parents started using the sprinklers to water the grass.
No one on the look out screaming car but rather peeping through the curtains to see if it’s safe.
We couldn’t ride through the forest because it was unsafe and who knew if I’d come home that night.
It was a new world.
I remember walking down the streets and the cops didn’t wave but rather slowed down and whispered.
They didn’t ask me what my plans were today but instead confused me for a troubled black kid.
Even though I was the same child they’d see playing with Luke and Sarah.
The worst part… they didn’t see if I was safe because they were the danger.
I didn’t want to be them.
I feared them.
I remember a lack of unity and the presence of hate.
But I can’t remember when the colour of my skin or the country of my origin turned me into a walking target on a gun range.
But I remember my mom.
I remember when she told me I was born with two bold X’s on my.
one labeled boy and
the other black…
I get it now,