The South Side may not be the place where dreamers come to dream.
But here is where the players play, the hustlers flow and schemers learn to scheme.
Some say we’re over-crowded; there’s too much littering and blight;
That you must be watchful at day, and bolt the doors at night;
Don’t let anybody move in real close and hold your purses tight.
And you must never look directly at “beggars” or give them one thin dime.
They say neighbors aren’t neighborly, we simply haven’t got the time;
That churches sit on every corner, each one collecting its due.
You turn it up, they shake you down, like the IRS taxing you.
If listening walls could speak they’d say children have no books.
The schools are struggling and kids can’t learn, with mean-muggers giving them looks.
The last thing they’d add in their summation is that teacher’s can’t really teach.
But I object because mine taught me that the world was within my reach.
My church gave me the presence of mind to endure life’s demanding test;
And from the homeless, I was humbled to observe survival at its best.
My neighbors were quite kind to me so I’d say I was “South Side Blessed.”
It may be a bit overcrowded here, but our skies are open wide;
To see our potential and that of her children, you have to come outside!
The resilient make their bones here and the Phoenix gets its wings.
Its ashes never swept away, they’re used for inspiring.
Their remains demand that others take flight, so they might have an aerial view,
Then return to the nest, stand for peace; and at best, fight for justice too!