Youth Poet on “Lumberjacks” and Family Trees

Youth poetsKhafre Sims Bey from the InsideOut Literary Arts Project tells us about the importance of family structure.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. More than 10 percent of households with children in Detroit are headed up by single dads, a number that has been on the rise since the turn of this century. That’s according to a report from Data Driven Detroit. The data also show a decline in households run by married parents, which reflects a national trend

In our continuing series looking at aspects of life in Detroit through the eyes of youth poets, Khafre Sims Bey from the InsideOut Literary Arts Project tells us about the importance of family structure in his life. 


By: Khafre Sims Bey

What a prominent profession lumber-jacking is

This dominant oppression is thunder-clapping kids

They have to make ominous confessions about how underlapping it is

And when it’s time to get a weapon they run and jack their sibs

Then lives get smoked down to ash

Lumberjacks chop family trees in half

They call him a crackhead but he’s really fiending for a dad

There’s always lives to shorten, or losin’

They’re cashing in lives for rewards

And business is booming

Kitchens is cooling

Riches is pooling

Snitches is choosing

The same blood gets to dripping like the kitchen sink

A strong family foundation is the missing link 

Sims Bey spoke with WDET’s Laura Weber-Davis. Music by Shigeto.