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The following is said to have been written by a young man inspired
by the film Antwone Fisher, Reggie Hatchett A.K.A. Water.
When I was younger my teachers would always tell me I made too much noise,
But I was only considered a minor nuisance because "boys will be boys."
I always wanted to be the class clown or the kid with the quickest temper,
Yeah, I guess you can say I craved attention for as long as I can remember.
You may have seen me in the principal's office or even had me in your class,
You may have whispered under your breath, "Somebody needs to whoop his ass."
I may have made you clench your fists or even grit your teeth,
But did you ever stop to think to yourself "What really lies beneath?"
I tried to get your attention with anger, and you had security beat me down,
I tried to get your attention with laughter, and you labeled me a clown.
I tried to get your attention with crazy hairstyles, you told me I looked absurd,
I tried to get your attention with grades, and my peers called me a nerd.
I tried to shut down and appear uninterested, you told me I had ADD,
So I tried to be hyper and energetic, you had the guards come and medicate me.
I tried to start conversations, you told me you didn't have the time,
I made myself good in sports and all you saw were dollar signs.
I tried becoming a slouch, that made me unhealthy and heavy,
I tried promiscuity, that made me a father before I was ready.
I tried drugs and alcohol, that made me even more sad,
I tried hanging with the wrong crowd and you told me I'd be just like my Dad.
The few times you offered your help, it was only for a minute,
Because loving me wasn't convenient, your heart truly wasn't in it.
I guess you wanted me to jump for joy, be happy and accept it,
Well excuse me for being a skeptic but I'm used to being neglected.
I'm not so easy with my trust, which is sad for a child to say,
But I've reached for too many extended hands that were only snatched away.
So finally I tried running away hoping someone would find,
And since you never seemed to have enough, the system gave me time.
Now, this was just an illustration of the pain that people don't see,
No child is gonna come up to you with a sign that reads, "Help me!"
But they're out there in your path and you see them every day,
Most of them slip through the cracks and slowly drift away.
Our children are being ignored, neglected from the day they are born,
They may be screaming out for help, but in a non-verbal form.
So extend your hands and open your heart and give redemption a try,
You have no idea what that child could be, or who you let pass you by.
The next Malcom X, the next Tupac Shakur or the next Muhammed Ali,
Or think about if it had happened to you, I wrote this because it happened to me.
©2003 Reggie Hatchett