They say I'm brave to live here–

A courageous soul, more so than most

And I believe that they intend it

As a compliment to me

But what they fail to understand

Is the grave insult implied

To those I choose to live among

If being their neighbor

Makes me a hero

Why should it be harder

For me to dwell beside

A family who differs from mine

In hue and size of paycheck

Than it is to share a street

With those who show no sympathy

For the differences and weaknesses

Of others?

What would they say

If they knew the truth–

That the suburbs with their perfect lawns

Their swimming pools and soccer moms

Terrify me

Far more than the dangers

(Real and alleged)

Of my beloved 'hood?

What would they say

If they discovered this fact–

That I am not brave at all

Just more at home

Where I can be

As broken as the next?

from Urban Verses © 2005