Youth Poet on the Strength and Frustration of “Detroit”

Terrell Morrow from the InsideOut Literary Arts Project shares this poem about his hometown.

In our continuing series “Inheriting Detroit,” which looks at aspects of life in Detroit through the eyes of youth poets, Terrell Morrow from the InsideOut Literary Arts Project shares this poem about his hometown. 


by Terrell Morrow 

Motown tune harboring, 
Automobile industrial base vicarious drive, 
Downtown city lighting life-giver of struggling spirit, 
Red-winged-angel-singing city I call home. 
They tell me we can’t keep it together, 
I fight for your honor trying to ignore the families I’ve seen ripped apart 

Courtesy of Terrell Morrow

Through the pressure of financial stress that weighs down the strength 
Of even the toughest of Pistons. 
Even though I’ve seen the happiness of children ripped away 
Transcending from that signing purple colored dinosaur 
To the morning sounds of hums, 
I’ve heard a remembrance of the happiness of people ripped away 
By purple colored gangbangers. 
I say to those who don’t see the fury in our eyes, 
That burns with the blaze of a 1967 riot, 
Is the truth of our history: 
Our city, our home, our tears, 
From the very moment you set foot on that Riverwalk 
And see the Princess set sail to a dream on a bank of beauty 
As the waters part like Moses’ path. 
We are but mere underdogs with the purest of waters. 
The product for which they lust for the thirst in which we quench 
An essence for which we must for the fist in which we clench 
As we fight our endless battles and the Hells we’ve created in Paradise Vallies 
As we walk through the valley of the shadow of death-toll population 
Hand-in-hand generations that shine like sons of the son. 
Yo, show me a city that’s aware of its oblivion, 
And simply relaxes like my hometown,